MADISON, WI – The State of Wisconsin has begun mailing postcards this week to approximately 343,000 registered voters who may have moved in-state and need to reregister or moved out of Wisconsin and are no longer eligible.
“This official postcard is a new step we are taking to ensure the integrity of voting in Wisconsin,” said Michael Haas, Wisconsin’s chief elections official.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission is sending the postcards to voters who have told another government agency that they have moved recently. Haas explained that these voters may have changed their address with the post office, updated their address with the Wisconsin DMV or applied for a driver license in another state.
“If you move, even within a city or to an apartment in the same building, you must update your voter record by reregistering,” Haas said.
Unlike postcards the Commission mails out to inactive voters, the postcards to movers will be forwarded to their new addresses, Haas said. That way, voters who have moved will be reminded that they need to reregister.
The postcard asks recipients whether they want to remain active on the state’s voter list. To remain active, voters have one month to mail a return postcard to their municipal clerk. Voters who do not respond will be deactivated. Voters will also be deactivated if the postcard is undeliverable by the Post Office.
“This mailing helps ensure that people who have moved and are no longer eligible to vote are reminded that they need to reregister,” said Haas, administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission. “It is not designed to keep any active voter’s name off the poll list.”
Voters who have moved should not return the postcard. Instead they must re-register at their new address. Voters can now register online up to 20 days before an election at the MyVote Wisconsin website (www.myvote.wi.gov) if they have an up-to-date Wisconsin driver license or state ID card. They may also register by mail up to 20 days before an election, after which they may register at the clerk’s office until the Friday before the election, or at their new polling place on Election Day.
Some voters who did not move may receive a postcard if they registered a vehicle at a different address, either in Wisconsin or another state. If you receive a postcard but did not move, please mail the postcard to your local municipal clerk, whose address is on the card, and your registration will continue unaffected.
The Commission used information from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a multi-state group that helps its members keep their voter registration lists current by identifying voters who may have changed their address, moved out of state or died. One of the requirements of membership in ERIC is to send mailings to voters who may have moved.
Assistant Administrator Meagan Wolfe said that this postcard mailing is one of many ways the Elections Commission helps Wisconsin’s 1,853 municipal clerks keep the voter list current. “Working together with Wisconsin’s clerks, the Commission is improving data quality to make the voter list more accurate,” Wolfe said. “This has many benefits to Wisconsin voters and taxpayers, both in the election process and in the costs of conducting elections.”
Voter Registration and List Maintenance Facts
- Wisconsin has a voting-age population of 4,469,475 people, according to estimates by the state’s Demographic Services Center.
- Of those, 3,345,821 people were actively registered to vote on November 1, 2017.
- Wisconsin has had a statewide voter registration list since 2006.
- In 2016, Wisconsin joined the multi-state Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), which provides members with additional tools to keep their voter lists current by identifying eligible residents who are not registered, and voters who may have moved or died out of state.
- In September of 2016, Wisconsin mailed postcards to 1.28 million people identified by ERIC as being eligible to vote but unregistered, encouraging them to register to vote.
- This postcard mailing is Wisconsin’s first attempt to contact voters who may have moved.
- A portion of the 343,000 postcards to individuals who have moved were mailed starting on November 3 and the remaining postcards will be mailed over the next week.
- A spreadsheet containing the number of postcards sent to voters in each Wisconsin county is attached below.
More information about the ERIC list maintenance process is posted to the Commission’s website: http://elections.wi.gov.
NOTE TO EDITORS: An image of a sample Election Mail postcard is attached. Your publication of the sample postcard as companion art to a story will help assure voters it is not a scam.
For more information, contact
Reid Magney, 608-267-7887, [email protected]