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Today, two communication files I sponsored (Council files 210070 and 210077) were brought before the Judiciary and Legislation Committee to further trumpet the need for voters to monitor their mail for an important postcard notifying them that they have 30 days to ask to keep their voter registrations active.
The postcard – coming from the state Elections Commission – will be sent to certain voters in June, and voters will have until July 15th to ask that they remain registered to vote.
This is made necessary because last month the Elections Commission (a bipartisan body) made the decision to start the process of removing as many as 188,000 people from the voter rolls for not voting in the last four years. The move is a routine exercise, but it could catch people by surprise and seriously hinder their ability to vote.
In the City of Milwaukee, 33,000 residents are expected to receive one of these notices and will need to respond in order to stay registered. State officials will deactivate the voter registrations of those who do not respond to the mailings, as well as those whose notices are returned as undeliverable.
The Commission took up the issue after a legal battle over whether it should remove tens of thousands of people from the rolls because they were believed to have moved. In a 5-2 ruling, the state Supreme Court sided in favor of the Commission, finding in early April it did not have to quickly take those voters off the rolls.
This routine maintenance involving voter rolls must be completed accurately and must not disenfranchise voters.
If residents have not voted since the 2016 Presidential Election, they will need to be watching their mailboxes in June in order to respond to the mailing and stay registered.
Voters who are removed from the rolls can re-register by mail, online, in clerk’s offices or at the polls. Those affected will need to have proof of residence to restore their voter registrations.
I urge anyone with questions to call the City of Milwaukee Election Commission at 414-286-3491.