Complaint: 234,000 Wisconsin Voters Should Be Purged Before 2020 Primary

WAUWATOSA, WI - NOVEMBER 06: Voters go to the polls to cast their midterm ballots at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Cultural Center on November 6, 2018 in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Voters are turning out in historic numbers to cast ballots while considering national issues including immigration, a strong economy and …
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A legal complaint filed by a Wisconsin conservative law firm argues 234,000 of the state’s voters should be purged before the 2020 primary elections because they have failed to update where they currently live.

The complaint, filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty against the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Tuesday, says state law requires the elections commission to purge voters from the voting rolls if they do not respond to mailings asking them to update their information within 30 days.

But the commission ruled in a June vote that it would allow these voters to stay on the rolls until spring 2021.

“State agencies comprised of political appointees and unelected staff do not have the authority to invent or amend policy contrary to state law,” the institute’s president and general counsel, Rick Esenberg, said in a statement.

“Whatever the intent of the Wisconsin Election(s) Commission’s action, it is illegal and must be remedied immediately.”

The commission sent out letters to 234,000 registered voters who told another state agency about a change in address, asking them if their status was up-to-date.

Meagan Wolfe, the state’s chief election official, said in a statement if these voters do not respond within a 30-day period, they will stay on the ballot until the April 2021 election.

“The 2019 movers mailing will be different than previous mailings, Wolfe said. “We learned some important lessons from our first movers mailing in 2017, and our goal is to make this new mailing simple for voters to use.”

Wisconsin voters must register online or by mail within 20 days of Election Day. If people miss that deadline, voters can register in person through the Friday before Election Day.

Wisconsin has 3.4 million registered voters as of June 2019, according to data from the state board of elections.


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