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.
More about the 2020 Voter Purge
- Does Court Ruling Mean No Voter Purge? - Shawn Johnson - Jan 15th, 2020
- Murphy’s Law: Why a Voter Purge Is So Critical - Bruce Murphy - Jan 14th, 2020
- What’s Going on With Voting List Purge? - Ruth Conniff - Jan 9th, 2020
- Nation Watches State Voter Purge Battle - Melanie Conklin - Jan 4th, 2020
- Elections Panel Deadlocks Again on Voting List Purge - Shawn Johnson - Dec 31st, 2019
- Data Shows Republican Voter Roll Purge Targets Democratic Voting Communities - One Wisconsin Now - Dec 23rd, 2019
- Barrett Says 35,000 City Voters At Risk - Alana Watson - Dec 21st, 2019
- Op Ed: Elections Commission Stands Up for Voters - Matt Rothschild - Dec 19th, 2019
- Court Will Consider Push to Purge Voters - Ruth Conniff - Dec 13th, 2019
- LWV Challenges Voter Roll Purge - Ruth Conniff - Nov 29th, 2019
- Lawsuit Demands State Purge Voter Rolls - Ruth Conniff - Nov 14th, 2019