If you live in Wisconsin, you may want to check to see if you are still registered to vote, as a judge has ordered the removal of nearly 234,000 people from the state’s voter rolls.
The purging happened back in December 2019 because the Wisconsin Election Commission believed the individuals may have moved. However, the Commission did send out letters in advance warning the voters that they'd need to reregister their addresses to remain on the voter rolls and keep everything current.
The deletions are a controversial decision that could potentially influence the 2020 election in a state narrowly won in 2016 by now-President Trump. In the last election, he beat Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin by 22,748 votes.
“If you move, even to an apartment in the same building, you must update your voter record by reregistering,” said Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief elections official.
There’s another slight issue, however -- the letter didn’t give people a deadline to reregister. Plus, an October press release for the elections commission stated that anyone who received the letter would remain on the list of eligible voters until 2021. But according to a lawsuit filed in October 2019 by the Institute for Law and Liberty, the elections commission is required by law to purge anyone who received the letter from the voter rolls if they do not re-register within 30 days of receipt.
“Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy agreed wholeheartedly. Whereas the conservative group [Institute for Law and Liberty] simply sought an injunction from the court requiring the commission to purge the voters ahead of its 2021 date, Malloy ordered the commission to do so within 30 days,” reports Huff Post.
Appointed to the bench in 2002 by Republican Gov. Scott McCallum, Malloy states, “I don’t want to see someone deactivated, but I don’t write the law,” she said. “There is no basis for saying 12 to 24 months is a good time frame. It’s not that difficult to do it sooner.”
It’s a move that could potentially hit Democratic-leaning areas the hardest, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Wisconsin is just one of the latest states to authorize a voter purge after Trump was elected. Similar states, such as Ohio and Georgia, have garnered national attention with their attempts to do the same. In one particular state, Texas, a thwarted attempt to pursue a purge resulted in the secretary of state’s resignation.