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News & Press: Press Releases

NAPABA Concerned About Impact of Decision in Husted v. APRI on LEP Voters

Monday, June 11, 2018  
Posted by: Brett Schuster
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Organizational Statement


For Immediate Release
June 11, 2018

                                                   For More Information, Contact:
                                                   Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
                                                   bschuster@napaba.org, 202-775-9555

NAPABA Concerned About Impact of Decision in Husted v. APRI on LEP Voters

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is concerned about the impact that today’s decision by the Supreme Court in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute — upholding Ohio’s policy to remove voters from state registration lists for failing to vote in two federal elections and failing to respond to requests for address verification — will have on limited English proficient (LEP) individuals and members of the Asian Pacific American community. As we argued in our amicus brief, led by Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, LEP voters may not be able to understand the significance of the removal notices, which are written in English, and may be removed from the voter registration roll without their knowledge — thereby limiting their ability to exercise the right to vote. Furthermore, this decision may disproportionally affect other traditionally marginalized groups — including low-income, homeless, and veteran voters — who may encounter numerous obstacles to casting ballots and returning notices that make them “particularly vulnerable to unwarranted removal” from voter rolls, as highlighted by Justice Sotomayor in her dissent, in which she cites NAPABA’s amicus brief.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to overturn the Sixth’s Circuit decision, which had declared that Ohio voter removal policy violated the failure-to-vote clause of the National Voter Registration Act. This Ohio policy, known as a “use-it-or-lose-it” practice, provides that if an individual does not vote in a federal election for two years, a “return card” is sent to the individual’s home address for verification of the address. If the return card is not returned and the individual does not vote in the next two general elections, their name will be struck off of state registration rolls. In its opinion, the Court stated that this policy does not violate the failure-to-vote clause because names were not removed from the registration roll based solely on the failure to vote but instead included notification cards sent to voters to allow them to remain registered.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).