Having been rebuffed by an appeals court, Dem AG Josh Kaul is now asking the state Supreme Court to stay a circuit court ruling directing the Elections Commission to deactivate the registrations of some 200,000 voters who may have moved.
The 4th District Court of Appeals yesterday declined to act on Kaul’s request for a stay, saying it was waiting for the Supreme Court to indicate whether it planned to take over the entire case.
Today, Kaul asked the Supreme Court to take one of two actions: put on hold the Ozaukee County judge’s order, or direct the appeals court to rule on DOJ’s request for a stay by Friday.
The request comes as Ozaukee County Judge Paul Malloy has a hearing Monday on a request from the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty to find the Election Commission in contempt and begin issuing fines unless the agency deactivates the registrations.
Malloy sided with WILL and three voters last month in their suit, ruling state law requires the Elections Commission to deactivate registrations of voters who may have moved that fail to respond within 30 days to a mailing from the agency checking on their current address. The commission originally was going to give those voters until April 2021 to respond.
Since Malloy’s decision, the commission has failed to reach a consensus on how it should respond with the appeal pending.
At the same time, the League of Women Voters has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to stop the deactivation, arguing the mailing didn’t give voters enough advance warning of the consequences if they failed to respond to the letter within 30 days. Both WILL and GOP lawmakers have sought to intervene in that case, which they want dismissed while the controversy plays out in state court.