*** Please note that an updated set of instructions has been posted as an attachment above. ***
*** Additional instructions for in-person absentee voters were added 3/16/18. ***
At the 2018 Spring Primary, Commission staff received inquiries from local election officials and voters who believed they should be on the poll book and were not. WEC staff researched each situation that was reported to our office and determined that many of these voter records were deactivated for reasons other than the ERIC mailing delivered last November. A small number of voters were identified who received the ERIC postcard but did not move. These cases are being investigated by both ERIC and the Wisconsin DMV. To avoid similar issues at the April election, Commission staff recommended special procedures to be used for this election. On Friday, March 2, the Elections Commission approved these special procedures.
Special Procedures for 2018 Spring Election
This memorandum outlines a two-step process to identify and re-activate voter registrations which may have been incorrectly deactivated as part of the ERIC process. The first step is optional but the second step is a mandatory addition to the polling place process.
Step 1: Review voters who received an ERIC postcard and were deactivated
Many clerks have asked if they can review voters in their municipality who received an ERIC postcard and were deactivated, to proactively identify voters who did not move. If a municipal clerk has reliable information that the voter did not move (such as local tax or utility data, etc.), the voter record in WisVote can be re-activated by the clerk. If the postcard address appears to have a typographical error, the clerk should correct the address on the voter’s record in WisVote and contact WEC staff to see if that change resolves the voter’s issue.
This type of research is optional. Many municipalities may not have the staffing or resources to do this type of research, or the number of voters on the list may be prohibitive. This step is being made available to clerks who would like to remedy these issues before Election Day, as many municipalities may have only a few voters in this category.
A new view titled “ERIC Deactivated Clerk Review” has been added to the Mailings tile in WisVote for clerks who want to review these voters. The view will display all of the voters who received ERIC postcards and whose registrations were deactivated for a given municipality. The view will automatically filter out any voters who re-registered or changed jurisdictions since the postcards were mailed, as well as voters who were deactivated for reasons such as felonies or being deceased. The view will display the address the postcard was mailed to as well as the voter’s current home address. This information will make it easier for clerks to identify voters who have a different address in WisVote now than they had before (as this may mean the voter was deactivated for a reason other than the ERIC postcard). Instructions for how to access this view are attached to this communication.
Step 2: Supplemental ERIC Poll List Reports
Commission staff will be preparing a special supplemental ERIC poll list report for each municipality that will list all the voters who received an ERIC postcard and were deactivated and have not re-registered or changed jurisdictions since the postcards were sent.
If a voter appears at the polling place and is not on the poll book, but believes they should be, election inspectors will need to reference the special supplemental ERIC poll list report. If the voter appears on that report, the voter should be allowed to vote at the address appearing on the report without re-registering. A space for the voter number will be provided on the supplemental ERIC poll list report, as well as a place for the voter to sign, affirming that they live at the address that appears on the report.
If the voter states an address that is different than the address listed on the supplemental ERIC poll list report, the voter must re-register. If the voter does not appear on the report, they may have been removed for a reason other than ERIC. These voters should re-register and clerks should contact WEC staff to identify why this voter was not listed on either the poll list or the supplemental ERIC poll list report.
WEC staff will issue a subsequent clerk communication with instructions on how the report will be distributed, how to record votes for voters on the supplemental ERIC poll list report, and how to report those voters to WEC staff. In the meantime, we wanted to advise you of these new procedures so that initial steps can be taken and you can plan to educate election inspectors regarding the polling place procedures.
For additional background regarding the ERIC mailings to individuals who appeared to have moved within Wisconsin, please see these previous communications:
- March 1, 2018: March 2, 2018 Special Commission Meeting Proposed Voter List Change for Spring Election
- December 15, 2017: 2017 Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) Movers Postcards Deadline
- November 16, 2017: FAQs Posted for ERIC Movers Postcards
- November 7, 2017: ERIC Mover Postcards - Processing Instructions
- October 30, 2017 - ERIC List Maintenance Mailing to Voters Who Have Moved
Please contact the WEC Help Desk for assistance at 608-261-2028 or @email.