The League of Women Voters wants a federal judge to order the Wisconsin Elections Commission to do a new mailing to state voters who may have moved giving them more explicit warnings their registrations will be deactivated unless they respond to the letter.
Meanwhile, the state Supreme Court has set a Jan. 3 deadline for responses to the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty’s request for the justices to bypass an appeals court and decide whether to immediately deactivate the registrations for some 212,000 voters who may have moved.
An Ozaukee County judge ruled earlier this month that the commission had to deactivate registrations for those who failed to respond within 30 days to a mailing inquiring if they had moved. The competing legal actions over the ruling advanced on dual tracks over the weekend with the League filing a brief in the Western District of Wisconsin on Saturday. Meanwhile, WILL filed its petition to bypass the appeals court on Friday.
The League argued in its brief that voters who received the mailings didn’t receive adequate warning of the consequences for failing to respond to the mailing, violating their due process rights.
The brief seeks a temporary restraining order and-or preliminary injunction requiring the commission to mail new notices of its intentions to remove them from the rolls, the reason for the action, the consequences for failing to respond and a timeline for deactivation if they fail to do so.
On Friday, GOP legislative leaders circulated a ballot to hire private attorneys to intervene in the suit.
WILL, which filed the motion to bypass on behalf of three citizens, argued the Supreme Court should take the case for several reasons.
That includes protecting the justices’ “prerogative to develop the law of the state” with the League’s filing in federal court.
The filing also argues there is an urgency to act with the upcoming spring elections, which kick off with the primary Feb. 18. The appeals court could take up to a year or more to resolve the case.
The latest update from the Elections Commission shows about 212,000 voters who may have moved could be subject to the Ozaukee County ruling.
The appeals court had set a deadline of today to respond to DOJ’s request to stay the Ozaukee Court ruling. But WILL wrote in its filing the motion to bypass stays those proceedings.