Wisconsin appeals court overturns order to purge more than 200,000 voters from rolls
A Wisconsin court of appeals handed Democrats a win on Friday by overturning a ruling that sought to purge up to 209,000 people from voter registration rolls.
The ruling gives a boost to Democrats in a state that’s poised to play a decisive role in the 2020 presidential race. President Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016.
The conservative group that brought the case, Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, said it plans to appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.
A lower court judge in January ordered the purging of more than 200,000 people from voter rolls because they may have moved.
On Friday, the appeals court also overturned an order by the same judge that had found the state elections commission in contempt for not moving forward with the voter roll purge.
The plaintiffs in the original case argued that the state elections commission should have immediately deactivated the registrations of voters who didn’t respond within 30 days to a mailing sent in October, an indication that the person may have moved.
The affected voters were concentrated in areas that tend to vote Democratic, prompting left-leaning groups to accuse the plaintiffs and county court of strategizing to reduce Democratic turnout, The Associated Press reported. Plaintiffs and other right-leaning groups argued they were trying to reduce the likelihood of voter fraud.
Even if voters are removed from rolls, they can register on site if they bring the proper documents, according to the state’s election commission. Wisconsin holds its primaries in April.
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