WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a 5-2 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Wisconsin Elections Commission cannot purge 69,000 voters from the voter rolls that it suspects have moved addresses. The case was filed in 2019 and targeted 234,000 voters who were sent a mailing from the commission asking them to confirm their address, but had not replied. The conservative plaintiffs alleged that the commission could and should unilaterally purge these voters from the rolls if they did not respond within 30 days. The plaintiffs asked a lower court for a writ of mandamus directing the commission to purge those voters.
The state Supreme Court relied on Wisconsin’s uniquely decentralized elections system in its ruling, in which it said that the responsibility of removing ineligible voters from the rolls lies with the 1,850 municipal election clerks who manage local election administration in the state, not the commission. This decision keeps 69,000 voters who have potentially moved on the list until local election clerks review and remove them themselves.
President-elect Joe Biden won Wisconsin by less than 21,000 votes.