For the time being, at least, the dead can vote in Wisconsin

Two days ago, we hailed the good news that a trial court judge in Wisconsin held the Elections Commission and three of its Democrat members in contempt because they refused to abide by his December order that they remove 200,000 non-viable names from the state's voting records.  One day later, on Tuesday, the state appellate court stepped in to stop the Elections Commission from cleaning out the cemetery vote:

The removal of as many as 209,000 names was put on hold a day after an Ozaukee County judge found three members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission in contempt of court for ignoring an order he gave in December 2019.

An appeals court judge also blocked the contempt finding in a separate order, putting on hold a decision that fined the three Democratic members $250 a day each until they voted to purge the names.

The appeals court on Tuesday ordered the lower court's order against the commissioners, and a Dec. 13 order to purge the names from voter rolls, "stayed until further order of this court," the court clerk wrote.

The rulings will ensure, temporarily, that thousands of names will not be removed from the rolls, until the appeals court reviews the dispute. Democrats have raised the alarm over the potential removal of so many names from the voter roll in a state set to be a battleground when President Donald Trump seeks reelection in November.

The same judges — Michael Fitzpatrick, JoAnne Kloppenburg, and Jennifer Nashold — had on two previous occasions refused to step in to block the purge.  This time, however, they moved so quickly that they did not even have time to write an order explaining their reasoning:

They wrote that they issued the order quickly because they knew the commission was meeting Tuesday. They will spell out their reasoning in a later opinion, they wrote.

It should be noted that the decision to remove names was not arbitrary or under the control of a single person or party.  Instead, it was the last phase in a formal notice procedure:

The order to remove hundreds of thousands of names was initially made last month, and came after the state Elections Commission sent notices in October last year to more than 230,000 people that were thought to have moved, requesting that they update their voter registrations or indicate that they hadn't moved.

The letters were sent to the voters based on data from the Electronic Registration Information Center that suggested they had potentially changed addresses. If they didn't respond, they were in danger of being removed from the rolls by 2021.

Commissioner Julie Glancey, a Democrat, complained that it just wasn't fair to remove people from the rolls because once upon a time, in the past, they were valid voters:

Responded Commissioner Julie Glancey, a Democrat:  "These are eligible, registered voters. They are not by any stretch of the imagination illegal or anything else. They are true people who registered to vote and are eligible to register to vote. They may or may not have moved.

"This is not an example of 200,000 illegal registrants on our voting list."

Glancey ignores the fact that in Wisconsin, it's incredibly easy to re-register on election day, whether online, at the polling place, or at the county clerk's office.  Glancey's complaint therefore cannot be about the risk of disenfranchising legitimate voters.

Same-day re-registration means that no one can argue that the Republicans are pushing to purge voter rolls in order to suppress voter turnout.  That leaves one to conclude that the only reason Democrats want to keep 200,000 names on the rolls, even though the people attached to those names have moved on, is to have a roster of names that people who cannot vote can "borrow" for the day, also known as voter fraud.

Two days ago, we hailed the good news that a trial court judge in Wisconsin held the Elections Commission and three of its Democrat members in contempt because they refused to abide by his December order that they remove 200,000 non-viable names from the state's voting records.  One day later, on Tuesday, the state appellate court stepped in to stop the Elections Commission from cleaning out the cemetery vote:

The removal of as many as 209,000 names was put on hold a day after an Ozaukee County judge found three members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission in contempt of court for ignoring an order he gave in December 2019.

An appeals court judge also blocked the contempt finding in a separate order, putting on hold a decision that fined the three Democratic members $250 a day each until they voted to purge the names.

The appeals court on Tuesday ordered the lower court's order against the commissioners, and a Dec. 13 order to purge the names from voter rolls, "stayed until further order of this court," the court clerk wrote.

The rulings will ensure, temporarily, that thousands of names will not be removed from the rolls, until the appeals court reviews the dispute. Democrats have raised the alarm over the potential removal of so many names from the voter roll in a state set to be a battleground when President Donald Trump seeks reelection in November.

The same judges — Michael Fitzpatrick, JoAnne Kloppenburg, and Jennifer Nashold — had on two previous occasions refused to step in to block the purge.  This time, however, they moved so quickly that they did not even have time to write an order explaining their reasoning:

They wrote that they issued the order quickly because they knew the commission was meeting Tuesday. They will spell out their reasoning in a later opinion, they wrote.

It should be noted that the decision to remove names was not arbitrary or under the control of a single person or party.  Instead, it was the last phase in a formal notice procedure:

The order to remove hundreds of thousands of names was initially made last month, and came after the state Elections Commission sent notices in October last year to more than 230,000 people that were thought to have moved, requesting that they update their voter registrations or indicate that they hadn't moved.

The letters were sent to the voters based on data from the Electronic Registration Information Center that suggested they had potentially changed addresses. If they didn't respond, they were in danger of being removed from the rolls by 2021.

Commissioner Julie Glancey, a Democrat, complained that it just wasn't fair to remove people from the rolls because once upon a time, in the past, they were valid voters:

Responded Commissioner Julie Glancey, a Democrat:  "These are eligible, registered voters. They are not by any stretch of the imagination illegal or anything else. They are true people who registered to vote and are eligible to register to vote. They may or may not have moved.

"This is not an example of 200,000 illegal registrants on our voting list."

Glancey ignores the fact that in Wisconsin, it's incredibly easy to re-register on election day, whether online, at the polling place, or at the county clerk's office.  Glancey's complaint therefore cannot be about the risk of disenfranchising legitimate voters.

Same-day re-registration means that no one can argue that the Republicans are pushing to purge voter rolls in order to suppress voter turnout.  That leaves one to conclude that the only reason Democrats want to keep 200,000 names on the rolls, even though the people attached to those names have moved on, is to have a roster of names that people who cannot vote can "borrow" for the day, also known as voter fraud.