Voter registrations for more than 205,000 Wisconsin residents have been deactivated after a routine effort by the state to keep voter rolls up to date.
Deactivating voter registrations in Wisconsin is a routine practice, required by law every two years, as part of the state’s voter record maintenance, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The effort identifies individuals who have not voted in the previous four years and deactivates their registrations unless they want to remain on voter rolls.
A spokesperson for the commission told The Hill that none of the voters removed from rolls cast ballots in the 2020 presidential election.
The first batch of voters, totaling more than 174,000, were removed from the state’s rolls if they had not voted in the past four years and did not respond to a mailing asking if they wanted to remain registered.
Registrations for a second group of more than 31,000 voters were deactivated from the 2019 Electronic Registration Information Center as having possibly moved. Those individuals did not update their registrations for a new address or reaffirm their locations on file.
“The WEC is working every day to help local election officials keep the registration lists current by identifying and removing deceased voters, people serving felony sentences, and others who are ineligible to vote,” Meagan Wolfe, administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, said in a statement.
She said the process is “designed to ensure the integrity of the active voter list” and is “not designed to keep any active voter’s name off the poll list.”
Voters who were removed from the rolls must re-register if they wish to vote in the state, according to the commission’s spokesperson.
The practice of removing voters from rolls in Wisconsin has been a topic of debate in the state. Conservatives filed a lawsuit in 2019 asking the commission to purge voters from rolls if they did not reply to mailings within 30 days, according to The Associated Press. The legal action, however, ultimately failed.