MSNBC Hosts Wrongly Claim Ohio Purges Nonvoters After Just Two Years

NewsBusters | 1/11/2018 | Staff
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On Wednesday, MSNBC was doing its part to spread misinformation that bolsters liberal spin on alleged "voter suppression" by Republicans as anchors Craig Melvin and Hallie Jackson -- hosting MSNBC Live at different times of day -- both wrongly claimed that, according to Ohio law, voters can be removed from the voting rolls if they fail to vote in just two consecutive elections.

When Jackson was hosting, guest Jill Colvin of the Associated Press even joined in pushing the misinformation until the Washington Post's Aaron Blake stepped in to inform them that it actually takes about six years of not voting for a purge to happen -- but even he still fretted that other states might use the Ohio law as precedent to be more restrictive.

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At 10:45 a.m. ET, host Jackson hyped a U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the Ohio law as she teased: "Coming up, we're talking about a fight in front of the Supreme Court right now that could effect who is registered to vote in your state. This is an under-the-radar story happening today you need to know about. We'll tell you why Ohio has been taking some of its voters off the books and what this all means ahead of the midterms."

At 10:49 a.m. ET, Jackson used the misinformation as she introduced the segment:

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That system lets Ohio take voters off the rolls if they have not voted in two elections in a row, and if they have not confirmed their mailing address with the state. The lead plaintiff here is a guy named Larry Harmon -- he showed up to vote in 2015, but his name was not on the list of his polling place. That's because Harmon had not voted since 2008. And he said he did not get a post card from the state he...
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