Wisconsin Elections Commission
Press Release

Wisconsin Elections Commission Approves Biennial Mailing to Inactive Voters


By - Apr 30th, 2021 04:17 pm

MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Elections Commission has unanimously approved mailing postcards in mid-June to approximately 187,750 registered voters who have not voted in the past four years.

“This biennial postcard mailing approved by the Commission is just one of the many things Wisconsin election officials do to ensure our state’s voter registration list is current and accurate to ensure the integrity of voting,” said Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief election official.

“Local clerks are working every day to add newly registered voters, update existing voters’ names and addresses, and to remove voters who have died or been convicted of felonies,” said Wolfe, administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission. “In addition, every two years, state law requires inactive voters to be removed from the statewide voter list if they do not request continuing their registration.”

The Wisconsin Elections Commission will be sending the postcards to voters who have not voted since the November 2016 general election.  Between that election and the 2020 general election, there have been 14 statewide elections and primaries and many special elections.  The postcard asks recipients whether they want to remain a registered voter at that address.

More information about the 2021 Four-Year Voter List Maintenance mailing will be distributed in June before the postcards are mailed. Information about the mailing is posted to the Commission’s website: https://elections.wi.gov/node/7420.

Wolfe noted that the Four-Year Voter List Maintenance mailing is separate from other mailings the Commission has sent in recent years to voters who may have moved. So-called “movers mailings” have been the subject of litigation, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently decided the Zignego case in the Commission’s favor.

Wisconsin Voter Registration and List Maintenance Facts

  • Wisconsin’s 2020 voting-age population was 4,536,293 people, according to the latest estimates by the state’s Demographic Services Center.
  • Of those, 3,785,290 people were actively registered to vote on April 1, 2021.  That’s 83 percent of the voting-age population.
  • State law requires the Elections Commission to conduct voter list maintenance every two years after each General Election.  The purpose is to identify registered voters who have not voted in the past four years, attempt to contact them, and remove those who have moved or who no longer wish to remain registered.
  • This is the seventh time Wisconsin has conducted voter list maintenance since creating its statewide registration system in 2006.
  • The number of postcards mailed every two years varies greatly, depending on whether it follows an election for president or for governor.  In 2013, the state mailed nearly 300,000 postcards to voters, compared to nearly 100,000 postcards in 2015, 380,000 in 2017 and 113,314 in 2019.
  • In 2019, the registrations of 95,939 voters, or 84% of people who were mailed postcards, were made inactive because the postcards were undeliverable, the voters who received them did not respond, or the voters who received the postcards asked to be removed from the active list.  According to national statistics, 12% of the population moves every year.
  • The Elections Commission works closely with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections to identify and regularly remove voters who have died or been convicted of a felony.  Local clerks also regularly monitor obituaries and other reliable sources of information about deaths to update the voter list.
  • Wisconsin is a member of the multi-state Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), which provides the state with additional tools to identify voters who may be eligible to vote but unregistered, or who have moved or died out of state. The four-year maintenance mailing process is different than ERIC mailings to voters who may have moved.

One thought on “Wisconsin Elections Commission Approves Biennial Mailing to Inactive Voters”

  1. Thomas Sepllman says:

    Will someone do the analysis that will tell a tale. Compare Obama 08 and 12 with Hillary 16 and Biden 20 I believe the vote totals for Dems will be much lower in 16 and 20 compared to 08 and 12. While the Black community can not stomach voting for Trump they did not vote for Hillary and Biden because of Charter Schools need Republican support Was it the extra votes in Madison or the change in Waukesha Co?? If this story has been written can you forward it to me Thanks Peace Tom Spellman 414 403 1341

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us