LWV Challenges Voter Roll Purge
Conservative group sues to demand purge, League of Women Voters seeks to intervene in case.
Responding to a lawsuit that seeks to purge 234,000 Wisconsin voters who might have changed addresses from the voting rolls, the League of Women Voters filed a motion last Friday to intervene in Ozaukee County Circuit Court.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed the lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) for not purging the rolls of voters who were sent a notice that information from the multi-state Electronic Information Registration Information Center (ERIC) showed they had moved. Those voters who did not respond to the notice within 30 days must be purged from the rolls, WILL argued in a complaint filed in October alleging that the Elections Commission had violated Wisconsin law.
The Elections Commission dismissed the complaint, and WILL filed the current lawsuit on Nov. 13.
A review of voter registration records by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) found that, due to the voter purge that began after Wisconsin joined ERIC in 2016, the number of registered voters in Wisconsin dropped by 697,363 between January 2017 and February 2018, “and that significantly more voters were purged from the rolls in Democratic-leaning counties than Republican-leaning counties.”
As part of the ERIC program, the state sent postcards to voters who were suspected of moving. Ninety percent of voters did not respond to the cards, CMD reported, and were purged from the rolls — even if they had not actually moved.
“When setting policies for dealing with the 2019 mailing to voters who may have moved, the Commission based its decisions on lessons learned from the 2017 movers mailing,” the commission stated in a response to the WILL complaint.
In its brief seeking to intervene as a defendant in the case, The League of Women Voters argues that “the ERIC ‘movers’ list relies on flawed, undifferentiated address data from the Wisconsin DMV.”
The WILL lawsuit is based on a statute that requires “reliable information” of a residential address change, the League points out. The group argues that “the data Wisconsin election officials are using is not reliable.”
“Based on prior experience and WEC and DMV’s failure to identify any new procedures to differentiate address data,” the brief continues, “the 2019-2020 ERIC ‘movers’ list likely once again contains a substantial amount of unreliable and demonstrably inaccurate information.”
The League argues that it should be allowed to intervene “because of its interests in maximizing voter participation through registration and protecting registered voters’ rights.”
If allowed to become a defendant in the suit, the organization will move to have WILL’s lawsuit dismissed.
Reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Examiner.
- Murphy’s Law: WILL’s Harvard Lawyers Fail at Voter Purge - Bruce Murphy - Apr 12th, 2021
- State Supreme Court Tosses Voter Purge Suit - Shawn Johnson - Apr 9th, 2021
- WILL President Rick Esenberg on Supreme Court Decision in Zignego v. WEC - Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty - Apr 9th, 2021
- WEC Statement Regarding Wisconsin Supreme Court Decision - Wisconsin Elections Commission - Apr 9th, 2021
- High Court Urged to Okay 5% Error Rate in Voter Purge - Henry Redman - Sep 30th, 2020
- Court to Rule on Purging 130,000 from Voter Rolls - Laurel White - Sep 29th, 2020
- League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Files Brief to Protect Registered Voters from Polling List Purge - League of Women Voters of Wisconsin - Jul 14th, 2020
- State High Court Narrows Chance of Voter Purge - Laurel White - Jul 1st, 2020
- Voter Purge Push Threatens 129,000 Names - Michael Parsky, Kynala Phillips and Dana Munro - Jun 14th, 2020
- Op Ed: Dan Kelly Wants Revenge - Matt Rothschild - Jun 2nd, 2020
Read more about 2020 Voter Purge here