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Judge Tells Wisconsin to Take 230K Off Voting Rolls

Ruling could hurt Democrats' efforts to carry the state next year
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2019 11:15 AM CST
Democratic organizer Bill Chandler reviews his voter contact sheet while canvassing a neighborhood in Whitewater, Wisconsin, in September.   (AP Photo/Scott Bauer)

(Newser) – Wisconsin has been ordered to remove about 234,000 names from its list of registered voters. A judge made the ruling Friday in a lawsuit brought by conservatives who argued that the state should have voided the registrations of people who did not respond within 30 days to a letter asking them to verify their addresses, the AP reports. The state Elections Commission argues that the power to manage the registered voter list is its alone. The panel, whose membership is split evenly between the two parties, says taking people off the list now would add confusion for those voters who had not moved, per the Washington Post.

Because Milwaukee and places with college campuses had the largest shares of voters whose registrations were on the line, Democrats fear they'll be affected more than Republicans. That could complicate their efforts to carry Wisconsin in the presidential election next year; President Trump carried the state by fewer than 23,000 votes last time. The Elections Commission and the League of Women Voters said they'll appeal the judge's ruling. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is dominated by conservatives, 5-2. Ohio, Texas and Georgia also have tried to remove people from the voting rolls. (Read more voting laws stories.)

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