WISCONSIN

 

Candidates

NOTES:

  1. WI Voter Registration Deadline vary from  is Oct 12 to  election day Nov 3, 2020.

  2. Stage 3 -- No excuse to vote by mail required.

  3. Online registration available.

FAVORITES:

  1. Act Blue Directory

  2. Vote.org -- Everything about ever state

  3. Movement.vote/groups/ -- Help local, state orgs get out the vote

  4. Votevets.org -- Vets against voter suppression

  5. Votefwd.org -- Most popular way to volunteer to support getting out the vote

  6. VoteSaveAmerica.com -- Adopt a State

Voter Issues

OCTOBER 2020

• Wisconsin: Democrats have filed an appeal with the Supreme Court asking it to reverse a recent 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that had blocked a lower court's order to count ballots that are postmarked by Election Day and received by Nov. 9.

• Wisconsin: A panel of three Republican-appointed judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled 2-1 to reverse its earlier position and grant the GOP's request to stay a lower court decision that had ordered ballots to count if postmarked by Election Day and received by Nov. 9 and extended the deadline from Oct. 14 to Oct. 21 to register online or by mail (Wisconsin still allows in-person registration on Election Day).

Previously, this same panel had unanimously rejected the GOP's appeal on the grounds that Republican legislative leaders lacked the standing to represent the state on the basis of a prior state Supreme Court ruling. However, plaintiffs subsequently asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to clarify that they did have standing, which the court's conservative majority did in a 4-3 ruling along ideological lines.

Consequently, the 7th Circuit panel sided with the GOP by saying it was too close to the election to change voting rules. However, Judge Ilana Rovner, a George H.W. Bush appointee, dissented by saying the majority's decision will cause "many thousands of Wisconsin citizens [to] lose their right to vote." She concluded her dissent, "Good luck and G-d bless, Wisconsin. You are going to need it." Democrats have not announced if they will appeal.

• Wisconsin: A federal district court has said it won't rule before the election on whether to curtail the GOP's limitation on the use of college IDs for satisfying the voter ID law, saying there is too little time left to resolve the issue without disrupting the election process.

• Wisconsin: A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling ordering Wisconsin election officials to count mail ballots so long as they are postmarked by Election Day and received by Nov. 9. Republicans are seeking an en banc review by the full 7th Circuit.

Additionally, Republicans and the 7th Circuit judges separately made requests asking the state Supreme Court to clarify a July ruling that limited the ability of Republican lawmakers to intervene in litigation, which the state court on Friday agreed to do. The 7th Circuit had relied on the state court's prior ruling in rejecting the GOP's challenge.

Separately, voters in the heavily Democratic state capital of Madison have filed a lawsuit asking a state court judge to affirm the validity of a recent event where city officials received more than 10,000 mail ballots in public parks across the city. Officials plan to hold similar events again, but Republicans have threatened litigation of their own to block them.

JULY 2020

Wisconsin: Conservative judges in two separate Wisconsin cases decided in the last two weeks have handed down decisions reinforcing Republican efforts to entrench themselves in power and leaving Democrats with little recourse to reform the status quo.

On Thursday, Wisconsin's conservative-dominated Supreme Court ruled largely along ideological lines to uphold nearly all of the power grabs that Republican legislators passed in a 2018 lame-duck session to strip Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and state Attorney General Josh Kaul of their powers before they took office after they defeated Republican incumbents that year. Because GOP gerrymandering resulted in Republicans winning sizable legislative majorities in the midterms even though Democrats won more votes, Democrats were unable to repeal these power grabs under Evers.

A week earlier, a panel of three judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to the GOP's voter ID law, reinstated cuts to early voting, and reactivated multiple other voting restrictions that Republican legislators had passed earlier this past decade that lower courts had suspended. The judges took more than three years since the case was argued to release their decision, giving no explanation for a delay that legal experts called "shocking."

MAY 2020

 

• Wisconsin: As he had signaled earlier in April, conservative state Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly has reversed his recusal in a lawsuit seeking to require Wisconsin to promptly purge more than 200,000 voter registrations, a case that Kelly had previously withdrawn from because he was up for election on April 7.

That election was marred by Republican efforts to suppress the vote by making voters choose between protecting their health and casting a ballot. That effort failed badly, as Kelly went down to a double-digit loss, but he's nonetheless repaying his party the favor before his lame-duck tenure ends this summer.

Thanks to Kelly's earlier recusal, the state Supreme Court had rejected plaintiffs' request for an expedited review after one of the four other conservative justices sided with the court's two liberals, resulting in a deadlock. Now, though, Kelly is likely to give conservatives a majority in the case.

At issue in this litigation is a GOP-backed law that requires voters to be removed from the rolls if anyone suspected of moving fails to respond within 30 days to a single mailing. Opponents have argued that the mailing was inadequate, that new notices should be sent to instruct those voters how to stay registered, and that no purge should take place until after November.

APRIL 2020

• Wisconsin: The Milwaukee Common Council (the equivalent of the city council) has unanimously voted to create a program to send absentee mail ballot applications out by mail to all 300,000 of the heavily Democratic city's registered voters. Both Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett and Gov. Tony Evers support it, and if other Democratic-leaning local jurisdictions follow suit, Republicans may feel pressured to expand absentee voting statewide to avoid putting GOP-leaning areas at a disadvantage.

Tuesday was a very controversial election day in Wisconsin — but it won't be election night until Monday. U.S. District Judge William Conley last week ordered clerks to not report results of Wisconsin's April 7 election until after 4 p.m. April 13 — the deadline for absentee ballots to be received.

State election officials didn't want clerks to start reporting unofficial returns on April 7, when only a portion of ballots would have been counted. Conley had also extended the due date for voters to submit their ballots, in an attempt to make voting by mail easier during the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned much of Conley's ruling, and required absentee ballots to be postmarked by Tuesday to be counted. But the prohibition on releasing results remained.

Thousands of people received their absentee ballots in the mail at the last minute — while others say they never received them.

As of Thursday, the Wisconsin Election Commission reported more than 200,000 absentee ballots sent to voters had not been reported as returned.

And more than 12,000 absentee ballots requested by voters were never reported as sent to them, according to the election commission’s data.

A portion of this gap could be a lag in local clerks’ reporting of the data to the state system tracking absentee ballot numbers, the election commission said.

Issues with undelivered ballots were discovered in Oshkosh and Appleton, Milwaukee and Fox Point.

On Thursday, U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson called for an investigation into missing absentee ballots in the state.

Of the more than 1,290,000 requested absentee ballots, the state election commission said more than 1,278,000 were reported as sent to voters and more than 1,042,000 ballots were reported as returned to clerks.

Tuesday's election decided the results of a Supreme Court race, Milwaukee mayor, Milwaukee County executive and many other local races. It also was the presidential primary, though Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the Democratic race Wednesday, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden as the de facto Democratic nominee.

• Wisconsin: A day of maximal chaos in Wisconsin ended on Monday with two conservative courts insisting Tuesday's election had to go forward and limiting absentee voting, moves that threatened to prevent countless voters from participating and render the results illegitimate. The rulings further signaled to Republican-run state governments across the country that any efforts to use the coronavirus pandemic to suppress voters aren't likely to be impeded by judicial review.

On Monday afternoon, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers had issued an executive order postponing the election—which included a presidential primary and general elections for state and local office—to June 9. Republicans, however, have bitterly opposed such a delay and immediately challenged the order before the state Supreme Court. Hours later, the court's four conservatives who heard the case blocked Evers' order, with both liberal justices dissenting. As a result, the state was left with no choice but to proceed with in-person voting Tuesday, despite the serious risks to public health and a crippled elections infrastructure.

Not long thereafter, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned an order issued last week by a lower federal court, which said that voters could cast absentee ballots so long as election officials received them by April 13, regardless of when they were postmarked. In a 5-4 ruling—which, like the Wisconsin high court's decision, fell along strictly partisan lines—the court's Republican appointees ruled that all ballots had to be postmarked by April 7.

This means that those who have the misfortune to receive their ballots late—something that happened to thousands of voters thanks largely to the huge surge in requests—thus faced an impossible choice, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted in a dissent: They either had to risk their health by voting in person on Tuesday, or disenfranchise themselves by not voting at all. The same held true for anyone who was unable to request a ballot, as well as the many groups of voters who could not vote by mail, such as people with certain disabilities.

And for those who did choose to head to the polls, they faced an elections infrastructure in shambles. Due to a shortage of poll workers, Milwaukee, the largest city in Wisconsin and home of the majority of its black population, opened just five polling sites, down from its usual 180. The same problem plagued jurisdictions across the state to varying degrees. Many voters were therefore deprived of their right to vote, and efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus were undermined.

But a deep cynicism motivates the right-wing hostility to letting voters participate in the election safely. Progressives had mounted a competitive campaign to unseat an arch-conservative appointee of former Gov. Scott Walker on the state Supreme Court, but Republicans appeared to deliberately count on the pandemic to disproportionately suppress votes on the left.

In part that's because social distancing is more difficult in denser urban areas, which make up the bulk of the Democratic vote; voters in more sparsely populated rural areas are likely to be less deterred from voting in person, since they're apt to encounter fewer people at the polls or on their way there. In addition, polling has shown Republicans are simply less concerned about the coronavirus in general, meaning they're more willing to ignore the danger to public health (and their own) that in-person voting poses.

And now, after decades of concerted effort, Republicans have succeeded in installing partisan ideologues on the bench—both federally and at the state level—who are only too happy to cloak the GOP's nefarious political goals in the language of legalese and bless them with the authority of the bench. In a searing instance of irony, a message atop the Wisconsin Supreme Court's website explained that the courts were closed due to COVID-19—just above a link to the court's order saying Tuesday's election and in-person voting had to take place despite COVID-19.

We won't know if the GOP's efforts were successful until results, which were delayed pursuant to a court order, are released on Monday. But in his ruling last week where he issued that order, federal Judge William Conley also included a pregnant footnote. "The court will reserve," he wrote, "on the question as to whether the actual voter turnout, ability to vote on election day or overall conduct of the election and counting votes timely has undermined citizens' right to vote."

In other words, Conley suggested that he might entertain further challenges after the election if the all-important right to vote has been abridged in some way based on how the election was carried out. As things stand, it's impossible to see how those rights weren't sabotaged, but with Republican partisans in all but name sitting on the bench above Conley, it's just as hard to see them permitting any remedy he might fashion to stand.

Consequently, it will be up to Democrats in Congress and in state governments to ensure that provisions are in place to protect voting for November's general election. Congressional Democrats failed to secure adequate funding and a mandate for states to expand voting access policies such as mail voting in the last coronavirus spending package, but including them in a future stimulus bill is likely their last remaining chance to avoid what's shaping up to be a November disaster.

• WI Supreme Court: Progressive Jill Karofsky's campaign filed a lawsuit on Friday to take down ads smearing her for a plea deal she had absolutely nothing to do with. A hearing is set for Monday morning, which is just one day before Election Day.

The commercials came from the Republican State Leadership Committee and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which are backing conservative incumbent Dan Kelly in Tuesday's contest. Karofsky outspent Kelly $1.4 million to $658,000 from Feb. 4 through March 23, but the Brennan Center for Justice estimates that these two groups have spent a total of $1.3 million on anti-Karofsky spots.

 

• Wisconsin: Wisconsin's Tuesday elections careened toward chaos as Democratic Gov. Tony Evers announced on Friday that he would call a special session of the legislature for Saturday, imploring Republican leaders to immediately pass legislation postponing the presidential primary and state Supreme Court general election so that the state could instead hold it by mail. But just a short while afterward, top Republicans vehemently shot down Evers' request and vowed not to take any action to protect voting.

Evers called the special session after a federal judge on Thursday declined to delay in-person voting even as citizens remained under a "stay at home order" due to the coronavirus pandemic and officials across the state said they would be unable to operate the vast majority of polling sites. Republicans swiftly appealed the parts of that order expanding voting access, as we'll detail below.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge William Conley concluded that, despite the grave health risks, plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate that the harms posed by proceeding with Tuesday’s presidential primary and elections for state and local office outweighed the harms that postponing them would cause. Conley did, however, agree to give voters one extra day to request absentee ballots, moving the deadline from Thursday to Friday.

He also relaxed the requirement that those voting absentee have their ballot witnessed, allowing voters to instead provide a written statement explaining they were "unable to safely obtain a witness certification" despite reasonable efforts. However, he left it to the "individual discretion of clerks as to whether to accept a voter’s excuse." He also ruled that votes already cast without witness signatures could be deemed valid so long as those voters affirm they weren't able to safely obtain them.

Most significantly, Conley ordered officials to accept any mail ballots they received by 4 PM on April 13, extending the deadline from 8 PM on Election Day. Conley emphasized that his directive did not specify ballots be postmarked by a particular date, meaning voters could in theory cast ballots after April 7. In a subsequent clarification, Conley also said that results could not be released until the 13th.

Despite these relatively modest adjustments, Republicans immediately filed an appeal, which the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted in part late on Friday by staying the section of Conley's ruling that had allowed voters to cast absentee ballots without witness signatures. However, the appellate court denied the GOP's request to block the extension of the deadline to return absentee ballots. It's possible that either party could file further appeals in the next few days, but given the 7th Circuit's heavy lean to the right and the Supreme Court's conservative majority being strongly opposed to voting rights, Democrats likely won't have much luck on any appeal.

GOP leaders in the legislature for weeks have resisted calls to postpone the election, and with a crucial seat on the state Supreme Court in play, they may be counting on the virus to disproportionately suppress votes on the left. In part that's because social distancing is more difficult in denser urban areas, which make up the bulk of the Democratic vote; voters in more sparsely populated rural areas may be less deterred from voting in person. In addition, polling, including a new survey from Marquette Law School, shows Republicans are simply less concerned about the coronavirus in general.

But it's not just Republicans who've stood in the way of moving the election: Wisconsin Democrats have been furious with Evers for also opposing a postponement until the last minute. Evers had criticized legislative Republicans for not acting, but Democrats said he should have called a special session earlier to put pressure on them, something he declined to do until Friday. Evers has repeatedly maintained that he wouldn't try to unilaterally delay the election, with a spokesperson saying, "He doesn’t want to do it, and he also doesn’t have the authority to do it."

That's left the administration of in-person voting in an extremely precarious state. Even though election officials have received an enormous surge in absentee ballot applications—over 1.1 million as of Thursday—they also told Conley that some 500,000 voters "would still need to vote in person."

Where they will do so is in grave doubt. In Milwaukee, for instance—the state's largest city and home to a large majority of its black residents—officials announced that polling locations have been reduced from 180 to just 5, one for every 10,000 voters expected to vote in-person, and Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett even asked voters not to vote at the polls. Other cities such as Green Bay face similar closures due to a dearth of poll workers. Evers has called up the National Guard to operate polling places, though he acknowledged to Conley that Guard members "will not satisfy all of the current staffing needs."

If in the end Wisconsin cannot pull off an acceptable election, there may be one final twist. In a footnote, Conley said he would "reserve on the question as to whether the actual voter turnout, ability to vote on election day or overall conduct of the election and counting votes timely has undermined citizens’ right to vote." In other words, Conley is suggesting that he might entertain further challenges after the election, though it's impossible to say what sort of post facto remedies he might envision.

P.S. Separately, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell may not advise all voters they can request an absentee ballot without presenting a copy of their ID because they are "indefinitely confined" as a result of the governor's stay-at-home order. The court said that McDonell must follow guidance provided by the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which concluded, "Designation of indefinitely confined status is for each individual voter to make based upon their current circumstance." Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson had also posted similar advice.

MARCH 2020

• Wisconsin: On Friday, just a week-and-a-half before Wisconsin's April 7 elections, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers asked the Republican-run legislature to pass a bill sending every voter an absentee ballot. The proposal was immediately rejected, however: State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald angrily accused Evers of "lying directly to Wisconsinites about this even being remotely possible."

• Wisconsin: Voting rights advocates have brought a new lawsuit asking a federal judge to bar Wisconsin officials from enforcing a state law that requires voters to have a witness sign their absentee ballots. Meanwhile, election clerks in Wisconsin's two largest counties, Milwaukee and Dane (home of Madison), have advised voters that they do not need to upload a copy of their ID when requesting an absentee ballot online, a move aimed at helping voters who lack the technological means to do so. Republicans have threatened to sue.

• Wisconsin: A federal judge granted a request by state and national Democrats on Friday to extend Wisconsin's online registration deadline from March 18 to March 30 ahead of the state's April 7 elections. The judge denied the plaintiffs' other requests but said he might reconsider the possibility of allowing absentee ballots to count so long as they're postmarked by Election Day, the deadline currently set by state law, even if they are received afterward.

• Wisconsin: The conservative group seeking to have Wisconsin to purge more than 200,000 voter registrations has asked the state Supreme Court to expedite its appeal after the state Court of Appeals ruled against it last month. In January, the plaintiffs had sought an expedited review by the high court, but the justices rejected the request in a 3-3 deadlock despite the court's 5-2 conservative majority.

That unexpected ruling came about because one conservative justice, Brian Hagedorn, sided with the court's two progressives, while Justice Dan Kelly, another conservative, recused himself because his seat is up for election on April 7. However, Kelly now says he could change his mind and participate in the case if it stretches out past the election. But even if Kelly loses, his successor wouldn’t take office until early August, meaning his participation could determine the outcome.

• Wisconsin: In a decision issued this week, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court ruling that had ordered the state's bipartisan Elections Commission to purge more than 200,000 voter registrations and found the Democratic commissioners in contempt for refusing to carry out the purge while their appeal was pending. However, this success could be short-lived.

At issue in this litigation is a GOP-backed law that requires voters to be removed from the rolls if anyone suspected of moving fails to respond within 30 days to a single mailing. Opponents have argued that the mailing was inadequate and that new notices should be sent to instruct those voters how to stay registered.

Last month, the appeals court temporarily blocked the lower court's decision. However, the conservative group bringing the case is appealing to the state Supreme Court, whose conservative majority will likely be sympathetic to their case.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has conducted an analysis of the voters who would be affected and found that most of them actually have voted in recent elections. The report found that 72% of them had cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election, 89% in at least one election since 2006, and 31% in all three presidential races since 2008.

FEBRUARY 2020

MADISON - State Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly will face Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky in the April election for a 10-year term on Wisconsin's highest court, voters decided Tuesday. The race now pits a conservative against a liberal in a one-on-one contest. If Kelly wins the April 7 election, conservatives will keep their 5-2 majority. If Karofsky wins, the conservative majority will shrink to 4-3.

JANUARY 2020

• Wisconsin: As expected, the conservative group trying to require Wisconsin to purge 200,000 voter registrations has appealed a recent Court of Appeals decision to the state Supreme Court. The plaintiffs are seeking to overturn the appellate court's ruling that had temporarily blocked a lower court order to initiate the purge while the appeals process remains ongoing. The high court has a 5-2 conservative majority, but one of the conservatives recused himself and another sided with the court's two liberals earlier this month after the plaintiffs asked the justices to fast-track the case, leading to a 3-3 deadlock that resulted in a denial of the request to expedite the matter.

Wisconsin: A trio of rulings from three separate Wisconsin courts on Monday and Tuesday has resulted, for now, in a halt to a conservative group's effort to require the state to remove 209,000 voter registrations from the rolls.

On Monday, a lower court judge, who had previously ordered the purge to go forward, held Democratic election officials in contempt for not proceeding with the removal. These officials, who'd asked the judge, Daniel Malloy, to issue a stay while they appeal, pointed out that Malloy's order had not specified a deadline by which they were obligated to act.

Later that same day, the state Supreme Court declined to expedite an appeal requested by the plaintiff, a conservative organization called the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. WILL had hoped that the Supreme Court, which is dominated by right-wing jurists, would give it a friendly reception, one but conservative justice who's up for re-election this year recused himself and another sided with the court's two liberals in declining to fast-track the case. That resulted in a 3-3 tie, meaning the plaintiff's request was rejected.

Finally, on Tuesday, the state's intermediate Court of Appeals stayed Malloy's decisions: both his order directing the purge to proceed and his contempt ruling. That amounted to a victory for voting rights advocates, who, if they cannot halt the purge, at least want to delay it until after November's elections.

The win is only temporary, though: The state Supreme Court's refusal to expedite the case does not guarantee that the court will stop the purge if the case eventually reaches them. A separate federal lawsuit opposing the purge remains ongoing.

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Reversing a lower court decision, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has paused the planned purge of over 200,000 voters. A three judge panel issued a stay of the circuit court’s order pending further review. Tuesday’s decision also overturned a contempt order from an Ozuakee County judge finding the Wisconsin Election Commission and the Democratic commissioners did not comply with his earlier order to remove the voters.

Split along party lines, the election commission was unable to come to a resolution Tuesday morning about how to proceed after the Court of Appeals’ ruling. Raising concerns about “clean” voter rolls, Republican commissioners have proposed sending a new round of letters to address due process concerns with the initial “movers mailing,” which gave voters at potentially new addresses 30 days to respond or be purged from the rolls. Meanwhile, Democratic commissioners have argued caution in how to proceed to avoid voter confusion.

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Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has for now declined to intervene in a lawsuit that seeks to require the state to purge roughly 200,000 voter registrations. A lower court recently ordered the state's bipartisan Elections Commission to quickly proceed with the purge despite the commissioners' desire to wait until after the November elections, and the commission had asked the appeals court to stay the lower court's ruling.

Meanwhile, the right-wing group bringing this lawsuit has asked the conservative-dominated state Supreme Court to take up the case, which it hasn't yet decided to do. Democratic state Attorney General Josh Kaul has asked the high court to either compel the appeals court to act on the defendants' request for a stay or to issue one of its own while the case remains ongoing.

• Wisconsin: Amid ongoing litigation over a right-wing group's effort to require Wisconsin to purge roughly 200,000 voter registrations, the state's bipartisan Elections Commission has deadlocked along party lines and will keep those voters on the rolls for now.

This outcome follows a lower court ordering the purge to proceed, but the commission is currently appealing to the state Court of Appeals, while the plaintiffs are asking the conservative-dominated state Supreme Court to take up the case. Expecting a hostile reception in the state courts, the League of Women Voters, a good government group, filed a separate lawsuit last month in federal court to keep the affected voters on the rolls.

At issue in this litigation is a GOP-backed law that requires voter registrations to be purged if voters suspected of moving fail to respond within 30 days to a single mailing. The Elections Commission wants to hold off until 2021 to remove these voters to avoid confusion in this year's elections, but the conservative plaintiffs want the purge to happen swiftly. Opponents have argued that the single mailing sent out to at-risk voters was inadequate and that new notices should be sent to instruct those voters how to stay registered.

DECEMBER 2019

• Wisconsin: On Friday, a state court heard a conservative group's lawsuit seeking to purge up to 234,000 voter registrations. The plaintiffs claim these voters should be removed because they were flagged as potentially having moved away because they didn't respond to an October mailing within 30 days. However, the bipartisan state elections commission argued the state should wait until April 2021—after the 2020 elections—before removing anyone, citing confusion after a similar purge in 2017.

Wisconsin allows same-day voter registration, so wrongly purging eligible voters who haven't moved would not be quite the catastrophe it would be in many other states, but it would still cause major problems. Re-registering on Election Day requires a photo ID and proof of address, which unsuspecting voters who've been deleted from the rolls may not have with them when they show up at their polling place.

And even if voters do have all the necessary documents, re-registration consumes extra time and could lead to longer lines. These twin issues could ultimately deter some voters from casting a ballot, including those who aren't subject to the purge but are affected by longer waits. Unsurprisingly, analyses by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the University of Wisconsin indicate that those slated to be removed are disproportionately Democratic.

Wisconsin's Supreme Court has a 5-2 majority of conservative hardliners, so if the case gets that far, there's a strong risk that the plaintiffs will prevail.

• Wisconsin: Amid ongoing litigation over a right-wing group's effort to require Wisconsin to purge roughly 200,000 voter registrations, the state's bipartisan Elections Commission has deadlocked along party lines and will keep those voters on the rolls for now.

This outcome follows a lower court ordering the purge to proceed, but the commission is currently appealing to the state Court of Appeals, while the plaintiffs are asking the conservative-dominated state Supreme Court to take up the case. Expecting a hostile reception in the state courts, the League of Women Voters, a good government group, filed a separate lawsuit last month in federal court to keep the affected voters on the rolls.

At issue in this litigation is a GOP-backed law that requires voter registrations to be purged if voters suspected of moving fail to respond within 30 days to a single mailing. The Elections Commission wants to hold off until 2021 to remove these voters to avoid confusion in this year's elections, but the conservative plaintiffs want the purge to happen swiftly. Opponents have argued that the single mailing sent out to at-risk voters was inadequate and that new notices should be sent to instruct those voters how to stay registered.

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