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MKE County

County Increases Spending on Voter Registration, Education

Residents on purge list will get notified, public information campaign will be launched.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Feb 7th, 2020 11:25 am
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Milwaukee County will spend $100,000 on voter registration and education efforts following recent attempts to purge more than 200,000 voters from Wisconsin’s registration list.

The county’s board of supervisors voted 14-3 Thursday to double the budgeted $50,000 for voter registration. The county clerk and the Milwaukee Election Commission will also send direct mailings to potential purged voters with instructions on how to update their voter status.

The money will be used on an education campaign that could include advertisements on Milwaukee County buses and bus shelters, in movie theaters, local newspapers and on broadcast radio in advance of the 2020 election.

“We must do everything we can to protect the right to vote, especially in the wake of ongoing voter suppression efforts in Wisconsin,” said board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr. “With these additional funds we can help ensure voters know their rights and are registered to vote.”

The City of Milwaukee and county are planning to set up voter registration kiosks at public facilities including City Hall, all Milwaukee public libraries, all Milwaukee County senior centers, some suburban public libraries and in the jury management room at the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

Additional measures could include additional voter registration kiosks, partnerships with voter outreach groups and voter registration drives.

Supervisors Patti Logsdon, Dan Sebring and Deanna Alexander voted against the measure.

Logsdon said she doesn’t believe the voter purge is being done to suppress voters.

“I know a group of people working on this list, and they have discovered 20,000 deceased people on this list already,” Logsdon said. “By purging this list you are helping your city clerks. It’s a check and balance system.”

The County Board spoke about the issue for nearly an hour, with almost every supervisor weighing in.

Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic said Wisconsin’s possible voter purge has been a premeditated attack on thousands of people during one of the most important elections of our time.

“We will fight back and we will win,” she said. “This is about democracy. In fact, this is one step to try to undo the harm that has been done. We’re going to make it as easy as possible for that constitutional right to be protected. That’s called expanding democracy.”

After a whirlwind of action in January that included three Democratic members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission being held in contempt, a Wisconsin appeals court granted a stay on a ruling on purging voters from the rolls.

Supervisor Sequanna Taylor is one of the people among the thousands of voters flagged to be removed from Wisconsin’s voter rolls.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Sequanna Taylor is one of the thousands of voters flagged to be removed from Wisconsin’s voter rolls. On Thursday, Feb 6. she told colleagues that hearing they didn't support voter education was a "slap in the face." Photo by Corrinne Hess/WPR.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Sequanna Taylor is one of the thousands of voters flagged to be removed from Wisconsin’s voter rolls. On Thursday, Feb 6. she told colleagues that hearing they didn’t support voter education was a “slap in the face.” Photo by Corrinne Hess/WPR.

On Thursday, Taylor said she moved and her driver’s license has her new address, and she registered to vote. She said she didn’t know she was on the voter purge list until a reporter told her.

After some of her colleagues suggested the voter rolls needed to be purged to prevent voter fraud, Taylor said she could no longer listen to the discussion.

She called the comments a “slap in the face,” considering that earlier in the meeting there had been a presentation on Black History Month.

“When I stand up here and continue to hear people say ‘Maybe this will happen or maybe that will happen’ maybe just let them vote,” Taylor said. “Especially when we talk about people of color who continually tell us they don’t want to vote because these policies and systemic policies are in place to keep them from voting.”

Listen to the WPR report here.

Milwaukee County Doubling Resources On Voter Registration, Education was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

More about the 2020 Voter Purge

2 thoughts on “MKE County: County Increases Spending on Voter Registration, Education”

  1. Duane says:

    I heard Greg Palast talking about the issue of voter purging in Georgia and Wisconsin on Thom Hartmann’s show. Palast recently wrote, (in regards to the Wisconsin voter purge)……

    “Palast Fund spoke with Bob Brandon, founder of the Fair Elections Center in Washington DC who is working with the League of Women Voters to overturn the ruling…While the state estimates the list is substantially wrong, The Palast Fund is preparing to review the Wisconsin purge list name by name to prove what we have seen in other states—that the lists are almost entirely false, wrongly eliminating voters for moving from the state who are in fact still in their Wisconsin homes”.

  2. Duane says:

    And this from today’s Journal…..

    A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel analysis of data from the commission shows the voters in question are ones who often show up at the polls:

    72% of them voted in the 2016 presidential election.
    89% of them have voted in at least one election since 2006.
    31% voted in all three presidential elections since 2008, 52% voted in at least two of them and 78% voted in at least one of them.

    Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Patti Logsdon.

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