The voter purge rate is so high today that there is a true risk to democracy. The Brennan Center for Justice published a 34-page must-read report titled, Purges: A Growing Threat To The Right To Vote, that explains what’s behind the rush to find large numbers of non-citizens voting. It is largely a scare tactic to enact voter purges. The report also offers solutions to the crisis, proposing that voter rolls should be kept highly accurate and ensuring voters have mechanisms to protect them from wrongful wrong purges. It is in this light that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has taken a step in the right direction, ruling against any attempts to carry out voter purging in the state. Democracy Docket had this democracy alert:
In a 5-2 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Wisconsin Elections Commission cannot purge 69,000 voters from the voter rolls that it suspects have moved addresses. The case was filed in 2019, and targeted 234,000 voters at the time who were sent a mailing from the Commission asking them to confirm their address, but had not replied. The conservative plaintiffs alleged that the Commission could and should unilaterally purge these voters from the rolls if they did not respond within 30 days. The plaintiffs asked a lower court for a writ of mandamus directing the Commission to purge those voters.
The state Supreme Court relied on Wisconsin’s uniquely decentralized elections system in their ruling, in which they said that the responsibility of removing ineligible voters from the rolls lies with the 1,850 municipal election clerks who manage local election administration in the state, not the Commission. This decision keeps 69,000 voters who have potentially moved on the list until local election clerks review and remove them themselves.
Joe Biden won Wisconsin by less than 21,000 votes.