Judge Holds WI Election Commission In Contempt, Demands Voter Purge

MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 06: A voter checks in to cast a midterm ballot at the District 5 Ward 83 firehouse on November 6, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Voters are turning out in historic numbers to cast ballots whil... MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 06: A voter checks in to cast a midterm ballot at the District 5 Ward 83 firehouse on November 6, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Voters are turning out in historic numbers to cast ballots while considering issues including immigration, a strong economy and President Trump's overall performance. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 13, 2020 1:58 p.m.
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Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy found the Wisconsin Elections Commission in contempt of court Monday, fining the board and some individual members for not immediately removing over 200,000 voters from the rolls.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Malloy said the board must pay $50 daily, and its three Democratic members who are fighting the purge an additional $250 a day each, every day they do not remove the voters.

“I can’t be any clearer than this,” he said. “They need to follow my order.”

Attorneys for the board maintain that the fines are undue, since they are awaiting news from the appeal of Malloy’s initial decision to remove the voters from the rolls.

The commission consists of three Democrats and three Republicans, and has been frozen in a partisan deadlock. They will meet Tuesday to decide whether to start removing the voters.

The debacle all started in October, when the commission reached out to more than 230,000 people to confirm that they still lived at the same address, or to ask for an update if they’d moved. Nonresponsive voters would have been removed from the rolls in 2021.

The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed a lawsuit, demanding that action be taken to remove the voters much sooner. Malloy agreed in his ruling, demanding that the voters be purged immediately.

Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul asked the District 4 Court of Appeals in Madison to review the case after Malloy’s ruling. Meanwhile, those who brought the initial lawsuit are trying to get the state Supreme Court, with its Republican majority, to take up the case before the appeals court makes a decision.

The liberal League of Women Voters also filed a lawsuit in federal court to try to keep voters on the rolls.

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