MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Elections Commission today is making public the “movers mailing list” containing names and addresses of more than 232,000 voters who may have moved in the past year. The Commission has directed staff to provide the list to anyone who has previously made a public records request for the list as well as to anyone else who makes a future request.
The WEC had previously denied public records requests for the list because of restrictions on the release of data WEC receives from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). However, after consulting with ERIC and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the Commission has now determined the movers mailing list can be released.
The mailing list is contained in a spreadsheet, and consists of the name, residential address and mailing address (which may be different) of the voter who may have moved, as well as the name and address of the voter’s municipal clerk. This is the file WEC sent to the Wisconsin Department of Administration, which used the data to print and mail the movers letter in October 2019.
The WEC understands that individuals and groups may attempt to contact the voters to determine whether they have moved and to urge them to reregister at their new address if they have moved. However, WEC asks individuals and groups to use care in contacting voters on the movers list. Based on past experience, the Commission believes that while most people on the list probably have moved, a small but significant percentage have not moved.
An electronic version of the movers mailing list is available at no cost through the WEC’s Badger Voters data website: https://badgervoters.wi.gov. Requestors will need to set up an account to make the request, but there will not be a charge. Requestors should choose “Custom Data” and ask for the “2019 Movers Mailing List.” Once the request is submitted, requestors will receive a link to download the Excel spreadsheet file, which is approximately 24mb in size.
The Commission also directed staff to advise the public that data is available regarding voters on the movers list who have not responded to the mailing or reregistered to vote. This data is also available through the Badger Voters website. However, standard voter data charges apply to these requests. There is a $25 base fee, plus $5 for every 1,000 voter records requested, as established by Wisconsin Administrative Code. As of January 27, there were 201,721 voters in the system with a status of Active-Movers, indicating individuals who did not respond to the Commission’s 2019 mailing. The current statewide list would cost approximately $1,035. Badger Voters users may also purchase voter data only for specific geographies, including wards, municipalities, counties and legislative districts. The Badger Voters website will give requestors a price quote for each data set prior to being charged.
The number of voters with a status of Active-Movers continues to decrease daily as voters either reregister at their original or new addresses on their own or are deactivated by their municipal clerks for other reasons including death, registering in another state, or being convicted of a felony.
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has stayed the order of an Ozaukee County Circuit Court judge to deactivate voters on the movers list who have not responded to the original mailing, pending its final decision on the WEC’s appeal. No voters have been deactivated as a result of the court case.
For more information, contact
Reid Magney, public information officer, 608-267-7887, or [email protected].