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March 2, 2018 Special Commission Meeting Proposed Voter List Change for Spring Election

Posted in
Priority: 
High Priority
Date: 
March 1, 2018
To: 
Wisconsin County Clerks
To: 
Wisconsin Municipal Clerks
To: 
City of Milwaukee Election Commission
To: 
Milwaukee County Election Commission
From: 
Michael Haas, Interim Administrator
AttachmentSize
Clerk comm. re Commission meeting 3.1.18.pdf53.92 KB
F. Memo re Voter List Maintenance.pdf64.01 KB

The Wisconsin Elections Commission will hold a special teleconference meeting tomorrow, March 2, 2018, beginning at 9:00 a.m. The agenda packet for the meeting can be found at this link: http://elections.wi.gov/node/5640

Please note that the Commission will consider a staff recommendation regarding voters whose registration is currently marked as inactive in WisVote due to last fall’s postcard mailing to individuals who had appeared to move. New recommended procedures outlined in the attached memo would take effect leading up to the Spring Election and at polling places. The recommended procedures are intended to address potential cases of individuals whose registration were inactivated despite the fact that they actually did not move. During the Spring Primary, the Commission received several complaints that this had occurred.

Because the list maintenance process related to individuals who had moved is new, and to ensure that registrations of eligible voters are not inadvertently inactivated, Commission staff is recommending that clerks have the option to review those cases before the Spring Election and that a supplement poll list is used at polling places on Election Day. The supplemental list would include voters who received the postcard and whose registration is currently inactive. If the municipal clerk has reliable information that the individual still resides at their registration address, the clerk could reactivate the registration prior to Election Day. If individuals are on the supplemental list and they wish to vote on Election Day, they may do so after signing the list to certify that they still reside at their registration address.

The staff’s proposed process is similar to procedures used in other states which are subject to the National Voter Registration Act (the “motor voter law”). The Commission is interested in any feedback that local election officials may have regarding the staff’s recommended procedures. We apologize for the late notice regarding this matter, but it is an issue which only arose at the Spring Primary and we have been developing our analysis and recommendations over the last week.

We will provide guidance to clerks based upon the Commission’s decision. If you have questions, or if staff can be of assistance, please contact the Help Desk at 608-261-2028 or elections@wi.gov.