Non-Voters Don’t Lose Their Right to Vote

Non-Voters Don't Lose Their Right to Vote

Listen to Monday's press briefing featuring Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn

Supreme Court to Decide When Voters Can Be Purged

We work hard at Common Cause encouraging people to vote and working to ensure that voting is accessible and convenient for everyone who is qualified. We believe that our democracy is stronger when everyone participates.

But of course, not everyone votes. Some people don’t care or figure voting is a futile exercise; some intend to vote but can’t get away from work on Election Day. Some forget about the election, or get sick or disgusted with the candidates and just don’t make it to the polls.

Whatever their reasons for not voting, these folks don’t lose their right to vote, or at least they shouldn’t. But in some states, election officials will take your name off the voter rolls if you don’t vote in successive elections.

Common Cause filed an amicus brief last week in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, a case now before the Supreme Court that could produce a clear standard for when officials are permitted to purge inactive voters from the rolls. The suit challenges Ohio’s policy of purging voters who miss two successive elections, fail to respond when the state mails out a notice to verify their residence, and then fail to vote for four more years.

For a deeper look at the case and the issues involved, listen to the recording below (or download here) of a press briefing conducted Monday with speakers including Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn.