An Ohio-based tea party activist is celebrating a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that will allow the state to clean up its voter registration rolls – and he's hopeful other states will now be able to follow suit.
The narrow 5-4 decision on Monday upheld an Ohio election law that allows officials to purge names from voting rolls if they have not voted in recent elections or failed to respond to notices from election officials. The Supreme Court decision overturned a ruling by a three-judge panel of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which sided with a challenge by the ACLU of Ohio. The state's Republican secretary of state, Jon Husted – who is currently running for lieutenant governor – called the decision "a victory for electoral integrity."
Tom Zawistowski is executive director of the Portage County Tea Party, one of the largest tea party organizations in Ohio. He agrees with Husted. "This ruling by the Supreme Court allows Ohio to purge those voter rolls and will improve the voter integrity of our election and doesn't discriminate against anyone," he states to OneNewsNow.
According to Zawistowski, being unable to purge inactive voters from the rolls has been a huge problem in the state.
"People have used these registrations that are basically illegitimate – the person has died or moved – ... to vote because in Ohio, unfortunately we still have the problem that we don't have photo voter ID," he points out.
According to The Associated Press, a "handful" of other states also use voters' inactivity to trigger a process that could lead to purging of the voting rolls. Zawistowski says this decision should allow states across the country to do just that.
The Supreme Court vote was clearly split along conservative-liberal lines. The four liberal justices dissented while the five conservatives overruled the Sixth Circuit's ruling.