State of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Voter Roll Access Challenge

Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Wolfe

Lawsuit filed by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) against Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) Administrator Meagan Wolfe challenging Wisconsin’s exception from the National Voter Registration Act’s (NVRA) Public Disclosure Provision. The Public Disclosure Provision requires states to allow public inspection of voter list maintenance records for at least two years. However, Section 4 of the NVRA notes that states which did not have a voter registration requirement or allowed all voters to register at a polling place on Election Day prior to August 1, 1994 were exempt from the law. Wisconsin is one of six states with such an exemption. Wisconsin law allows the state to restrict access to certain information in its publicly available official voter registration list, including date of birth information. 

On Jan. 24, 2024, PILF requested a copy of the state’s complete voter registration list including year of birth information. WEC responded explaining that they could provide PILF with the official voter registration list, but it would not include the year or birth information that was requested and would cost an additional fee because of the state’s NVRA exemption. 

PILF claims that this exemption departs from the “principle of equal state sovereignty” by giving Wisconsin and the additional five states with NVRA exemptions different treatment than other states, and ask the court to invalidate the exemption, declare that the NVRA’s Public Disclosure provision supersedes Wisconsin law and require the WEC to produce the state’s official voter registration list. 

STATUS: PILF filed this complaint on April 30, 2024. The WEC administrator has not responded yet.

Case Documents

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