Wisconsin:

Voter Purge

Wisconsin Voter Roll Maintenance
Litigation (ongoing)

In November 2019, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, represented by Fair Elections Center and Rathje Woodward LLC, moved to intervene in a state court lawsuit filed in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. The lawsuit, which was filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on behalf of three Wisconsin voters, alleged that Wisconsin law required the Wisconsin Elections Commission to use information provided by the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) to flag voters who may have moved, and to cancel the registration of voters who do not respond within 30 days to a letter sent by the Commission, asking the voters to update or confirm their addresses.

 

Initially, the Commission planned to give voters 12 to 24 months to respond. The state lawsuit sought to purge over 200,000 registered Wisconsin voters within 30 days of the letters' mailing. But the statute upon which the suit was based requires "reliable information" of a residential address change. The data Wisconsin election officials are using is not reliable because it incorporates data that does not reflect a true residential address change. In the 2017-2018 cycle, at least 7 percent of the people listed in the ERIC's "movers" list had in fact not moved to a new address.  

 

On December 13, 2019, the state court denied the League's motion to intervene and ordered the immediate removal of 234,039 registered Wisconsin voters from the rolls. On December 17th, we filed a complaint in federal court against state election officials on behalf of the League and two individual voters. The complaint alleges that the letter sent to voters by the Elections Commission did not provide adequate notice to voters that they would be removed if they failed to respond, or provide them with a timeline for responding, in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. It also alleges that the letter violated the Due Process Clause because it told voters who had not moved that they could confirm their registrations by voting in the "next election," leading them to believe they could use this option to avoid removal from the rolls. The suit asks the court to block state officials from removing these voters until after the state provides them adequate notice about how they can update and confirm their addresses.

Registered Wisconsin voters can check their registration status at https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/RegisterToVote.

Federal Court Legal Documents

Complaint (12.17.19)

Brief in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction (12.20.19)

 

Defendants' Brief in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction and in Support of Motion to Dismiss, or, in the Alternative, Stay (01.10.20)

 

Plaintiffs' Brief in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (01.31.20)

 

State Court Legal Documents

League of Women Voters-WI Brief in Support of Motion to Intervene (11.22.19)

Plaintiffs' Opposition to the LWV-WI Motion to Intervene (12.2.19)

League of Women Voters-WI Reply in Support of Its Motion to Intervene (12.5.19)

Plaintiffs' Motion for a Temporary Injunction or Writ of Mandamus (12.2.19)

League of Women Voters-WI Motion  for Leave To File Brief In Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion For a Temporary Injunction or Writ of Mandamus (12.5.19)

 

Exhibit A - LWV-WI Brief In Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion For a Temporary Injunction  or Writ of Mandamus

 

Plaintiffs' Reply in Support of Motion for a Temporary Injunction or Writ of Mandamus  (12.2.19)

 

Press

 

Statement from League of Women Voters of Wisconsin on its motion to intervene

 

Statement from Fair Elections Center and League of Women Voters of Wisconsin on filing of federal lawsuit

1825 K St. NW  | Suite 450

Washington DC 20006

(202) 331-0114

info@fairelectionscenter.org

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