MSNBC Wrongly Suggests Ohio Purges Voters After Two Years of Nonvoting

June 17th, 2018 8:18 PM

On Sunday's AM Joy, MSNBC was again spreading misinformation on the Ohio voter purge law which requires registered voters to either vote at least once every six years, or at least respond to an address verification inquiry through the mail, in order to remain registered to vote.

But -- as MSNBC has previously done -- a panel discussion heavily suggested that voters would lose their right to vote after just a couple of years of nonvoting, threatening the voting rights of those who only vote every four years in presidential elections.



Host Joy Reid introduced the segment by invoking the Jim Crow history of barring black Americans from voting:

The myth of voter fraud has long been used to justify voter suppression tactics against minorities, and, this week, Republicans -- whose crusade has been to reduce voter access by claiming voter fraud received a huge victory when the Republican majority on the Supreme Court upheld one of the most aggressive voter suppression laws in the country.

She soon went to guest Dale Ho of the American Civil Liberties Union who misleadingly asserted: "Ohio says if you don't vote in a two-year period, we're going to send you a postcard. If you don't return that, we're going to assume you've moved to another county -- we're going to knock you off of the rolls."

The segment's other guest, Ohio Democratic State Rep. Alicia Reece, soon added that "something like 60 percent of people don't vote in a midterm election."

When Ho had his turn again, he complained that "they're assuming that all of these people who haven't voted and then target them to kick them off of the rolls," suggesting that as many of 60 percent of voters are in danger of being kicked off the voting rolls.

Without anyone ever mentioning that Ohio's law was passed in 1994, but was never challenged until several years ago, Reece hinted that Republicans are trying to limit voting rights because Barack Obama was elected President, as she declared that "since the election and reelection of President Obama, there have been a number of attacks on voting rights."

Reid then wrongly suggested that people who only vote once every four years would lose their voting rights as she summed up the segment:

Up to 60 percent of eligible voters do not vote in midterms -- six in 10 voters. And if you don't vote in midterms, the Supreme Court has now just said that not exercising your vote gives your state the right to take away your right to vote. That's pretty much what it said, right?