News & Politics

Wisconsin Judge Finds Democratic Election Commissioners in Contempt for Not Removing Ineligible Voters From the Rolls

File photo of a voter placing a ballot paper in the ballot box. (Rui Vieira/PA Wire)

Ozaukee County, Wisc., Judge Paul Malloy has found the state’s election commission in contempt of court for failing to comply with his December court order to remove 200,000 ineligible voters from the rolls.

In addition, Judge Malloy found the three Democratic Party members of the commission in contempt, fining them $250 a day until they comply.

The dispute is over a state law that required the election commission to purge names from the voter rolls if they hadn’t voted in three consecutive elections. That law was later amended to make it four consecutive elections. Voters were still given the option of remaining on the rolls if they returned a postcard to confirm their addresses. Purged voters can also register on the same day that an election is held.

But this proved to be too much for the Democrats, who are arguing in court that keeping the rolls clean of dead voters and voters who may have moved out of state might inhibit someone from voting.

It’s “suppressing the vote,” don’t you know?

Milwaukee Journal:

The judge expressed frustration with Thomsen, one of the Democratic members of the commission, for comments he has made about the case. After a recent meeting, Thomsen told reporters Malloy’s initial order was one person’s interpretation of state law.

“It isn’t smart for people who aren’t following the court’s order to make public comments or go on radio shows where the judge might see them,” Malloy said. “I found the conduct disrespectful. … To say this is one person’s opinion is not accurate. It is one person’s opinion, but the person is a judge, trained, taken an oath to follow the law and I don’t think any of the lawyers here think I haven’t done my share of work on the case.”

It is probable that many of those 200,000 voters to be purged have simply moved. Many probably moved within the same municipality and thus, would vote in the same congressional and legislative districts.

But why keep them on the rolls if their addresses can’t be verified? This is especially true when you can register and vote on the same day.

Democrats have chosen to make this a voting rights issue when it is nothing of the sort. It’s a bureaucratic bookkeeping issue, but Democrats want to use it to illustrate what they claim is GOP “suppression” of the vote.

Election season is fast approaching. There is a Feb. 18 primary for local offices, state Supreme Court and a vacant congressional seat in northern Wisconsin. Some absentee ballots have already been mailed to voters, potentially complicating any effort to take people off the voter rolls.

Dozens of people, many with tape over their mouths, held a rally outside the courthouse before the hearing. Rev. Greg Lewis, president of Souls to the Polls, said he worried the legal fight would lead to so much confusion that some people would give up on trying to vote.

“This is not checkers. It’s chess, and the people who re doing this understand that the frustration will cause a lot of people not to even want to vote,” he said.

That’s nonsense. The only reason someone is not going to vote is because they don’t want to. It’s ridiculously easy to vote in Wisconsin and the idea it would cause “frustration” is absurd.

But this isn’t about making it easy to vote. It’s about politics, pure and simple. It’s not voter “suppression” to have accurate records of who is and who isn’t eligible to vote. It’s common sense.

Something most liberals don’t have.