Ozaukee judge to decide state voter registration case

Malloy scheduled to rule next week on motion that could have implications for thousands of Wisconsin voters, presidential race in battleground state
By 
BILL SCHANEN IV
Ozaukee Press staff

An Ozaukee County judge is being asked to decide whether thousands of Wisconsin residents should be purged from voting rolls if they don’t update their registrations within 30 days.

Next week, in a case that could have implications for the presidential election,  Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy is scheduled to rule on a lawsuit filed by three voters from Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties against the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The lawsuit seeks a temporary injunction that would require the commission to deactivate the registrations of as many as 234,000 voters in the state if they do not respond within 30 days to notices sent by the commission in October. 

And in a motion filed last week, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is asking Malloy to allow it to participate in the Thursday, Dec. 5, hearing as an intervening defendant. The organization argues that voters can be removed from rolls based only on reliable information, and that the data used by the state has proven in some cases to be erroneous. 

“Maintaining accurate voter rolls is an important part of our elections, but it must be based on accurate information,” Erin Grunze, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, said in a statement. “Current methods put thousands of legitimate voter registrations at risk, and a purge right now would amount to voter suppression.”

The notices sent by the commission last month instruct recipients to update their voter registrations with current addresses or confirm that they have not moved.

The commission intends to give voters who received the notices until 2021, which is after the presidential election, to update their registration information because some voter address information may be inaccurate.

But the plaintiffs, who include Town of Belgium resident David Opitz, argue that the commission must remove voters from the rolls 30 days after they were notified if they don’t update their registration information. The conservative organization Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is assisting the plaintiffs.

The commission disagrees that it is obligated to act within 30 days, while the League of Women Voters is focusing on the veracity of registration information, some of which it argues is “flawed and unreliable.” 

The commission is represented by Attorney General Josh Kaul. 

Residents who are removed from voter rolls can re-register online, at their clerk’s office or at the polls on election day.

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494
 

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