Wisconsin Public Radio

Barrett Says 35,000 City Voters At Risk

Mayor criticizes voter purge, pushes state officials to protect election system’s integrity.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Dec 21st, 2019 02:38 pm
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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and the city’s Elections Commission criticized an effort to remove voter registrations for Wisconsin residents who are thought to have moved.

Barrett announced Friday at Milwaukee City Hall that he wants government officials to protect the integrity of the system.

Last Friday, Ozaukee County Circuit Court Judge Paul Malloy ordered that up to 234,000 voter registrations be tossed from the state’s voting rolls because they may have moved.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission didn’t come to an agreement on Monday on how to address the ruling. The commission was divided with a 3-3 vote, which means the state won’t take action on the ruling for now.

Malloy sided with three voters in a lawsuit filed by the conservative law firm, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty or WILL. They argued that the state’s Elections Commission was violating state law by not removing people from the voting rolls who didn’t respond to an October mailing within 30 days.

The state uses the Electronic Registration Information Center or ERIC. ERIC uses data from the DMV, Social Security and the U.S. Postal Service to see when a registered voter has moved.

Voters who were flagged based on ERIC’s data were sent a postcard to retain their registration records.

Barrett said during the press conference that out of the 35,000 Milwaukee residents flagged, 186 people responded, and 1,327 registered somewhere else. He continued and said many residents thought the postcard was spam mail or a scam.

Barrett stressed that residents shouldn’t have to face additional barriers to voting.

“An individual’s voting registration status is important and should never be viewed as a disposable commodity.” Barrett said. “It provides access to voting which represents the foundation of democracy.”

According to the city’s Election Commission, 35,000 of Milwaukee’s registered voters could be impacted. That’s 1 in 10 voters in the city.

A large number of people who would be removed from voter rolls are in Milwaukee and Madison.

“Some might say Milwaukee and Madison are more transient cities than other municipalities in the state,” Neil Albrecht, executive director of Milwaukee’s Election Commission, said. “I think that’s very speculative.”

Opponents of registration removals have filed challenges to the ruling in state and federal court. The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin filed a lawsuit in federal court this week.

A group of attorneys announced Friday that they are also filing a legal challenge on behalf of Wisconsin voters who are impacted by the voter purge.

Listen to the WPR report here.

Milwaukee Mayor Says 35K Milwaukee Residents Could Be Impacted In Voter Purge was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

More about the 2020 Voter Purge

One thought on “Barrett Says 35,000 City Voters At Risk”

  1. Duane says:

    Wisconsin native, Christian Conservative all-star, and “goo goo syndrome” guru Paul Weyrich must be looking down with great pride! An infamous Paul Weyrich quote from 1980, used to be played frequently on Thom Hartmann’s show, needs to be in constant rotation this coming election…..

    “So many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome: good government. They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

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