State Appeals Court Won’t Intervene In Wisconsin Voter Purge Case
A state appeals court in Wisconsin said this week it intends to stay out of a closely watched legal dispute over the planned purging of up to 209,000 from voter rolls in the battleground state.
The District 4 Appeals Court, which is based in Madison, Wis., ruled Tuesday that it would not take the case until the Wisconsin Supreme Court decides whether to deal with it.
In October the state Elections Commission sent a mailing to nearly 200,000 registered voters, asking them to confirm their addresses.
Last month, a county judge ordered the commission to purge people from the voter rolls who did not respond to the mailing and may have moved or died.
The order stemmed from a lawsuit filed by a conservative law firm that wanted the judge to order the immediate purging of the voters.
But the bipartisan commission has since deadlocked twice on the question of taking action before an appeal of the lawsuit is heard.
Rick Esenberg, leader of the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty told local WISN-AM radio he disagrees with the commission’s inaction.
“Court orders are not suggestions,” Esenberg said during the radio interview. “They are not rendered inoperative by the fact that you filed an appeal.”
Now the institute wants the judge to fine the commission and five of the six commissioners $2,000 each, or $12,000 total each day, for being in contempt of the order.
Democrats are fighting to stop the purge, saying it will unfairly impact their voters. They argue the October mailing was sent almost exclusively to voters in the more heavily Democratic areas of Wisconsin.
Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul, who is representing the elections commission in the case, said it “strongly disagrees” with arguments in the contempt motion.
“This case should not effectively be ended before the appeals process plays out,” Kaul said in a statement.
President Donald Trump narrowly won the state in 2016 by fewer than 23,000 votes and Wisconsin is expected to again be one of the most hotly contested states this year.
In The News
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Franklin County judge issued a preliminary injunction on Wednesday permitting the installation of more than one ballot drop box per county ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election. In handing down his decision, however, Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Frye... Read More
ATLANTA — Fierce battles over which votes count are already being fought in courts this election season, with armies of voting rights advocates, political parties and attorneys gearing up to bring more challenges to Georgia election laws when ballots are cast. The most significant court intervention... Read More
WASHINGTON — The controversial new chief of the U.S. Postal Service had not even started his job when a disturbing thing happened to hundreds of thousands of Americans who cast ballots by mail in primary elections this spring. Their votes were never counted. The torrent of... Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio — As Ohioans stake the names of their preferred candidates in the November election outside their homes, a new form of activism is showing up alongside the traditional candidate yard signs. Absentee ballot requests, voter registration forms and other nonpartisan information about how to... Read More
Two of the nation’s final primary contests of the cycle will be decided Tuesday, in New Hampshire and Rhode Island, but one of the most interesting tests will be over the power of someone who’s not on the ballot: President Donald Trump. Republicans in the Granite... Read More
WASHINGTON - Regardless of what happens between now and Tuesday, Nov. 3, the 2020 campaign for the White House will go down in history as a race like no other. Played out against the backdrop of a global pandemic, the contest now comes down to a... Read More