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As I See It

No rush to purge Wisconsin voter rolls

Scott Robert Shaw



We’ve said it many times before. Our democracy works best when everyone participates in it. That’s why we have called for expanding voting opportunities through absentee ballots and early voting. But a new complaint and possible lawsuit threatens to make more than a quarter million voters in Wisconsin ineligible to vote in next year’s presidential primary. The conservative group The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty has threatened the lawsuit, arguing the Wisconsin Elections Commission should remove 234,000 voters in Wisconsin from the voting rolls. The commission mailed notices to those voters, who according to the Post Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles may have moved since they last voted. The notice gives them two years to confirm their address. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty says those people who may have moved should be removed from the voter rolls after just 30 days. That doesn’t seem very democratic. Doing so would mean these quarter million voters would risk not being able to vote in the February primary for the state Supreme Court race, or in the April Presidential primary and spring general election in which a new member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court will be elected. We should be working to make it easier for people to vote not harder. Our democracy functions at its best when more people participate in the process.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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  1. Avatar

    Rick Steinhoff

    October 17, 2019 at 6:46 am

    After my wife and I were divorced and she moved to a different district in the city her name remained on the voter registration list for 10 years while I still lived in the house. Every time I went to vote I would inform the workers she no longer lives at the address and gave them her new address in the different district. So I think that the voter rows really need cleaning for this simple reason. Also couldn’t anyone who was removed from the rows vote vote using Election Day Registration?

  2. Avatar

    Don Quiote

    October 17, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Of course Scott Robert Democrat wants illegitimate voters to “participate”. Stop presenting this as “news” when it’s clearly just a democrat party propagandist parroting their talking points.

    • Avatar

      gregory danker

      December 14, 2019 at 3:01 pm

      your dead wrong many of those democrats are good people just because your a democrat does not mean your worthless this is trumps way too make sure he wins in 2020,he will use every dirty trick in the book

  3. Avatar

    Tom Fitzpatrick

    October 17, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    It is shameful that some politicians go to so much trouble to prevent people from voting. We should encourage our fellow citizens to vote, and try to make it more convenient for them to do so. Contrary to some talking points, this has nothing to do with “illegitimate voters participating. The biggest voter fraud in years was the Republicans in North Carolina who threw away absentee ballots or stole them and voted pretending to be the person on the absentee ballot.

  4. Avatar

    Clyde Fromona

    October 21, 2019 at 5:51 am

    I am always amazed that someone so close to the correct information chooses to spew disinformation. New law requires clerks to clean up the stagnant rolls after 4 years.

    County Clerks conduct a 4 year voter record maintenance after a voter fails to vote at any election in 4 consecutive years.
    This is a notice sent to the voter in June following a general election to any voters who are registered to vote for the past four years but have not voted.
    The voter would have missed a minimum of 12 elections. 4 Spring primary elections, 4 Spring general elections, 2 Summer primary elections, 2 November general elections plus any possible special elections and a Presidential primary election.
    If the notice is returned as undeliverable or the voter does not respond within 30 days the Wisconsin Elections Commission(WEC) deactivates the voter’s registration in the statewide voter registration system.
    The voters are not necessarily removed from the statewide voter registration system.
    Their voting status is changed to inactive. They must re-register either before or during the 2 weeks of early vote in person absentee voting or at the polls on election day in order to vote. They will not show up in the poll book until the next election.
    This is not unreasonable to clear the rolls after 4 years to save data space and pages in the poll book you sign when you vote.

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