Buckeye Institute Amicus Brief Argues for Ohio’s Right to Ensure Election Integrity

Aug 09, 2017

Columbus, OH – The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in the case Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, supporting Ohio’s ability to ensure the integrity of its elections. In the brief, Buckeye argues that, according to Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., a law that would not allow Ohio to maintain accurate voter registries is unconstitutional.

“Fair elections require states to keep their voting rolls current and accurate,” said Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer at The Buckeye Institute. “The Buckeye Institute is proud to have filed a brief with the Supreme Court to defend Ohio’s authority—granted by the Constitution—to do so.”

As Secretary of State John Husted said in a statement, “This case is about maintaining the integrity of our elections, something that will be harder to do if elections officials are not able to properly maintain the voter rolls.”

Ohio’s case centers around the question of whether the state has the right to maintain an accurate and up-to-date statewide database of registered voters. In its brief, Buckeye argues that the U.S. Constitution is clear in giving states sovereign authority over voter qualifications, and Ohio has a clear interest in making sure that non-residents are unable to vote in its elections. To do this, the state’s voter rolls must be as accurate as possible.

Using a process that Secretary of State Husted pointed out “has been in place for more than two decades and administered the same way by both Republican and Democrat secretaries of state,” Ohio sends notices to inactive voters and if the inactive voter fails to respond to the notice, the person is removed from the voter rolls. This ensures that people who have moved are cleaned from the registry.

Questioning Ohio’s constitutional right, opponents filed a suit claiming that the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) prohibited Ohio from maintaining an accurate and up-to-date voter list. As Buckeye stated in its brief, “If the NVRA is construed to prohibit Ohio’s practice of sending confirmation notices to verify the residency of inactive voters, then the state’s ability to enforce its residency requirement will be severely impaired.”

The Buckeye Institute’s amicus brief was filed on August 7, 2017.

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UPDATE: June 11, 2018, U.S. Supreme Court upheld Ohio’s authority to ensure that the votes of its citizens are not diluted by voter fraud. Read Buckeye’s press release.