Wisconsin judge orders up to 209K voter names be deleted

NOW: Wisconsin judge orders up to 209K voter names be deleted

By IVAN MORENO and SCOTT BAUER Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin judge has ordered the state's election commission to immediately begin removing up to 209,000 names from the state's voter rolls or face hundreds of dollars in fines every day they don't do so.

Judge Paul Malloy said in his ruling Monday that "time is in the essence in this case" and cannot wait for the state Supreme Court to decide the case.

Malloy ordered a $50 a day fine until the commission removes voter names.

"I can't be any clearer than this, they need to follow my order," he said in court. "They created this situation by disregarding the 30 day notice and on their own initiative saying maybe 12 months or two years."

The state Justice Department asked Malloy to stay his order of contempt pending an appeal of his ruling, but the judge denied the request.

Malloy also ordered three members of the commission in contempt. They each also face a fine until the names are removed. 

Protesters met before the hearing saying the original ruling amounts to unlawful voter suppression. After the hearing, they said they were disappointed.

"We have to first of all let people know that this is going on," Greg Lewis with Souls to the Polls said. "Because I'm sure none of this is common knowledge to our community."

The Wisconsin Election Commission is expected to meet Tuesday. 


Published: 9:29 a.m. on January 13, 2020 

By IVAN MORENO and SCOTT BAUER Associated Press

PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- The push to remove up to 209,000 registered voters from the polls in Wisconsin is heading back to court.

A judge on Monday scheduled a hearing on whether the Wisconsin Elections Commission is in contempt for not immediately purging the voters as ordered last month.

The commission has asked appeals courts to put the ruling on hold while the legal fight continues but none have acted.  

The case is being closely watched in battleground Wisconsin, a state President Donald Trump won by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016.

Democrats are fighting the lawsuit, saying the purge will unfairly affect their voters. 

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