Is Wisconsin really attempting to block 200,000 citizens from voting in a purge of the voter rolls? Nancy Pelosi sent up a “beyond alarming” alert two days ago, telling Democrats in the state to “organize” against the effort. Few would have guessed that a Democratic administration in Wisconsin could stage such a widespread voter suppression effort, but that’s apparently what Pelosi believes:
It’s beyond alarming that more than 200,000 registered Wisconsin voters will be prohibited from voting.
Less than a year from the election, we must ensure @WisDems have the resources to respond with a massive voter registration effort.
Don’t agonize. Organize! 👇 https://t.co/pTZPttXf6B
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) December 17, 2019
Just to remind everyone, the governor of Wisconsin is no longer Republican Scott Walker. Democrat Tony Evers took over in January of this year, which means that Democrats are in charge of the electoral process in the state. Furthermore, this is not a case of 200,000 voters being blocked, as the Journal-Sentinel reported the next day. It is an example of routine maintenance of voter rolls, in which states remove dormant registrations in order to prevent voter fraud. Plus, the courts have reviewed the process and are allowing it to go forward:
The state sent letters to about 234,000 people in October asking them to update their voter registration or confirm they were still at the same address. The Wisconsin Elections Commission planned to remove people from the rolls in 2021 if they didn’t take action before then.
But three voters represented by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty sued, arguing the state must take people off the rolls much more quickly.
Malloy determined Friday that state law required the commission to remove people from the voter rolls 30 days after notifying them they were believed to have moved. He ordered the purging of the voter rolls.
How many people responded to the letter? Fewer than ten percent, and only 2300 of them still lived at the same address. Another 16,500 responded that they had moved to new addresses and registered there. Over a quarter of all the letters came back as “undeliverable.” Even if one believes that the other 155,000 letters all went to people prepared to vote in the next election from the addresses on their registration, none of them would be “prohibited” from doing so — they’d just have to reregister to vote.
Politifact is less than impressed with Pelosi’s claims:
Weighing in on the Wisconsin voter rolls controversy, Pelosi says these 200,000-plus people “will be prohibited from voting.”
That’s a major overstatement of how this actually works.
Yes, the pruning process — if allowed by the courts — could potentially remove more than 200,000 people from the voting rolls before the upcoming elections. But there is no punitive element that would ban future voting. Everyone can re-register, even on Election Day.
The use of the word “prohibited,” in particular, goes too far, in that it suggests there is no way to vote in the future.
We rate Pelosi’s claim Pants on Fire.
Oh, let’s not be too hasty. There is a kind of charm to Pelosi’s notion that accuses a Democratic administration of voter suppression. Will Pelosi support a recall efforts against Evers?