The Wisconsin Supreme Court announced Monday it agreed to hear a lawsuit attempting to force the Wisconsin Elections Commission to remove voter registrations of people the state has identified as having moved.
The lawsuit, Zignego v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, is being pursued by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) on behalf of three Wisconsin voters.
“We are pleased the Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear this critical case,” said Rick Esenberg, President and General Counsel for WILL. “Recent months have made clear that state agencies, like the Wisconsin Elections Commission, must be held accountable when they ignore state law.”
This is the second attempt to get the Supreme Court to consider the case. The first attempt failed when WILL tried to bypass the Wisconsin Appeals Court in Madison. The Court split 3-3 on consideration, with Justice Dan Kelly abstaining because of a possible conflict of interest due to the pending Spring election when he sought a full ten-year term on the Court.
The Appeals Court overturned a ruling by Ozaukee County Judge Paul Malloy who ruled the Election Commission violated state law when it decided to postpone eliminating the questionable voter registrations until after the 2020 election.
Kelly, who lost the election, participated this time in the decision and the Supreme Court will now consider WILL’s appeal.
Wisconsin, like 28 other states, uses a system known as the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) to identify when a voter conducts an official government transaction using an address different than their voter registration address.
After an Election Commission review, a notice is sent out to the “movers” asking them to verify their address, which they must do so within 30 days. The Election Commission sent out notices last October to 234,000 voters, but decided not to act on the removal of non-responders until after the 2020 election.
According to state law, “If the elector no longer resides in the municipality or fails to apply for continuation of registration within 30 days of the date the notice is mailed, the clerk or board of election commissioners shall change the elector’s registration from eligible to ineligible status.”
Democratic members on the Commission contend that the Wisconsin Election Commission is not a “board of election commissioners” under state law.
Removal from the voter registration rolls does not eliminate a person’s right to vote. Voters in Wisconsin can always re-register later, if they haven’t done so already at their new address, including on Election Day itself.