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State mails postcards to inactive voters

The State of Wisconsin mailed postcards last week to nearly 100,000 registered voters who have not voted in the past four years.

“This is an official mailing, not a scam,” said Kevin J. Kennedy, Wisconsin's chief elections official. “We are required by law to remove inactive voters from the statewide voter list, and this is just one of many steps we take to ensure the integrity of voting in Wisconsin.”

The postcard is titled “Notice of Suspension,” and asks voters who have not participated in an election in the past four years whether they want to remain active on the state's voter list. If they do, voters have one month to mail a return postcard to their municipal clerk. Voters will be marked as inactive on the list if they do not respond, or if the postcard is returned as undeliverable by the Post Office.

“This mailing helps make sure every voter's name and address is correct and current, and to remove names of voters who no longer wish to vote,” said Elections Division Administrator Michael Haas. “It is not designed to keep any active voter's name off the poll list.”

Voters who changed their name or address should not return the postcard. Instead they must re-register under their name or at their new address. Voters can register by mail or at the clerk's office up to 20 days before an election or at the polling place on Election Day. Voters can start the registration process online at the MyVote Wisconsin website: http://myvote.wi.gov.

If you receive a postcard but believe you voted in Wisconsin in the past four years, please contact your local municipal clerk, who is responsible for recording who voted in an election. A directory of municipal clerks is available on the Government Accountability Board's website: http://gab.wi.gov/clerks/directory.

This is the fourth time the G.A.B. has conducted the Four-Year Voter List Maintenance since the Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS) was created in 2006. In 2013, the G.A.B. mailed nearly 300,000 postcards to voters.

Wisconsin has approximately 3.4 million registered voters, and Haas noted that in addition to sending out postcards every two years, the G.A.B. works continuously with Wisconsin's 1,853 municipal clerks to keep SVRS current. “These efforts by our staff and Wisconsin's clerks to improve data quality are paying off by making SVRS more accurate,” Haas said. “As a result, taxpayers benefit because we have to print and mail fewer postcards.”

More information about the four-year voter record maintenance process is posted to the Board's website.

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