Purging voter rolls

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in a case out of Ohio might be good news for Mississippi in trying to reduce the bloat in its voter rolls.

By a 5-4 vote, the court upheld Ohio’s law that allows voters’ names to be purged if they have not cast a ballot for six years and have not responded to a notice asking them to confirm their residency.

Civil rights leaders say this is an effort to disenfranchise the minorities and poor. Rather, it is an attempt to have more accurate voter records.

Mississippi is notorious for having bloated voter rolls, with many counties having more registered voters than adult residents.

Bloated rolls create judicial inefficiencies, as counties have to send out huge numbers of jury summonses to pool a sufficient number of potential jurors.

Worse, bloated rolls are an invitation to voter fraud. The easiest way to impersonate a voter, especially with absentee ballots, is to have lots of names of people who have died or moved still on the rolls.

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