County Increases Spending on Voter Registration, Education
Residents on purge list will get notified, public information campaign will be launched.
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.”
Additional measures could include additional voter registration kiosks, partnerships with voter outreach groups and voter registration drives.
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.
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
- ACLU of Wisconsin Statement on Appeals Court Ruling Blocking Attempted Voter Purge - American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin - Feb 28th, 2020
- MKE County: County Increases Spending on Voter Registration, Education - Corri Hess - Feb 7th, 2020
- 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