State of Wisconsin Mails Postcards to Eligible but Unregistered Residents

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MADISON, WI – The State of Wisconsin is mailing postcards this week to more than 198,600 state residents who appear to be eligible to vote but are not currently registered.

The official postcards tell potential voters how to register online at https://myvote.wi.gov and give them deadlines and other information about ways to register for upcoming elections.  The postcards also include a toll-free number which routes them to a WEC call center.

“Many groups are contacting Wisconsin residents in 2020 about registration and voting,” said Meagan Wolfe, administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.  “Voters can trust that this postcard and other official mailings from the WEC contain accurate, nonpartisan information about how and when they can register and vote in Wisconsin.”

The WEC sends these postcards because of Wisconsin’s membership in the Electronic Registration Information Center (https://ericstates.org), which helps states improve the accuracy of America’s voter rolls and increase access to voter registration for all eligible citizens.  Wisconsin sent similar postcard mailings to 1.28 million eligible but unregistered residents in 2016 and 384,000 residents in 2018.

ERIC helps the Wisconsin Elections Commission develop the mailing lists of eligible but unregistered residents.  ERIC starts with a list of people who have been issued a driver license or a state ID card by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation since the previous mailing.  ERIC compares that list to Wisconsin’s statewide voter registration system to find eligible but unregistered residents.  Names of people currently serving a felony sentence were removed from the mailing list, as were people who have asked to be removed from the active voter list.  Also taken off the mailing list are people who recently moved without providing the USPS with a forwarding address. 

Some registered voters may inadvertently receive postcards.  This can happen when a registered voter’s record does not match the same person’s DOT data.  Registered voters who may receive postcards should not worry that their registration is in jeopardy.  These voters may want to visit the MyVote website, call the toll-free number or contact their municipal clerk to check that their information is accurate, and to correct any data errors. 

This year’s mailing to eligible but unregistered Wisconsin residents will feature intelligent mail barcodes for the first time, Wolfe said.  “This will serve as a ‘pilot’ mailing for the use of intelligent mail barcodes, which the WEC is building into the statewide voter system for mailing absentee ballots this fall.  The barcodes will give us detailed information on undeliverable mailings and other delivery statistics.”

This postcard mailing is different than another WEC mailing that has been in the news recently.  In early September, approximately 2.64 million Wisconsin registered voters will be receiving a mailer with information about all three ways they can vote in the November 3 election – at the polls on Election Day, in-person absentee at their clerk’s office, or absentee by mail.  The September mailing includes information about how to request that an absentee ballot be mailed to you by visiting https://myvote.wi.gov, but it will also contain an absentee ballot request form and business return mail envelope for use by voters who do not have internet access. 

Voter Registration and List Maintenance Facts

  • Wisconsin has a voting-age population of 4,524,066 people, according to estimates by the state’s Demographic Services Center.
  • Of those, 3,395,382 people were actively registered to vote on June 1, 2020.  
  • Wisconsin has had a statewide voter registration list since 2006.
  • The Wisconsin Elections Commission helps the state’s 1,850 municipal clerks maintain the voter list by identifying voters who have died, moved, or otherwise become ineligible to vote so the clerks can fulfill their statutory duty to remove them from the active registered list.
  • 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. In June 2018, a postcard went to 384,000 eligible but unregistered residents.
  • The 2020 eligible-but-unregistered mailing has a budgeted cost of $81,000.
  • The final number of postcards being mailed in 2020 is 198,656.

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, public information officer, 608-267-7887, or [email protected].