SCOTUS is gearing up to vote on another critical, yet terrifying issue
According to VOX, it centers around an election case, Ritter v. Migliori, which involves: "a fight over whether 257 ballots cast in a low-level state judicial race should be tossed out because of a very minor paperwork error. It also involves a fairly obvious violation of a federal law providing that voters should not be disenfranchised due to such errors."
Ritter aggressively argues that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provision may be "unconstitutional." However, VOX reporter Ian Millhiser is pushing back against that argument with a number of important points. In his analysis, Millhiser explained why the Supreme Court's involvement is problematic where this matter is concerned.
While the U.S. Consitution does give Congress substantial governing power over congressional elections, Millhiser notes that their power is quite different when it comes to state and local elections such as the judicial race at the center of Ritter's case.
"A state law provides that voters who cast their ballots by mail shall 'date and sign' the envelope accompanying their ballot. Significantly, however, the state does not care which date the voter writes on this envelope — only that a date is written upon it. Envelopes that are dated 'July 4, 1776' or 'April 5th, 2063' will be opened and the ballot within shall be counted," Millhiser wrote. "But Ritter argues that voters who fail to write any date should be disenfranchised."
He also noted that the arguments Ritter presented are not within the boundaries of a federal law that prohibits the disenfranchisement of voters due to clerical errors “if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election.”
Millhiser also noted that the law was included as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which was incorporated to restrict states from dissecting paperwork filed by Black voters in hopes of finding small errors to disqualify their votes. However, Millhiser emphasizes that the law "is written broadly to apply to any state action that would strip someone of the right to vote because of a paperwork requirement that is irrelevant to whether the voter is legally qualified to vote."
Millhiser insists the case should be relatively easy despite even if there is a legitimate argument to support a reason for requiring voters to accurately provide the date when writing on ballots.
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