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Wisconsin deactivates more than 200,000 registered voters

Election officials said it's part of routine "voter list maintenance processes."

More than 200,000 Wisconsin voters were deactivated this week through what election officials called mandatory "voter list maintenance processes."

The Wisconsin Elections Commission said Wednesday the mass deactivation came as part of a regular clean-up that is mandated by Wisconsin State statute. A total of about 205,000 registered Wisconsin voters were ultimately deactivated.

The commission said 174,307 voters were changed from active status to inactive as part of a process known as "Four-Year Voter Record Maintenance." Essentially, anyone who has not voted in the past four years is sent a letter, asking them if they want to remain active.

Those who don't respond or don't ask to remain active are purged from active voter rolls, and will have to re-register to vote (which they can do here).

The other 31,854 deactivations were voters identified as likely to have moved. The individuals on this movers list were mailed postcards and, like the other list, asked whether they wanted to remain registered to vote. 

This mailing actually occurred in the summer of 2019, and non-responsive individuals were supposed to be removed within 30 days. The elections commission opted to wait until after the 2021 elections, since policy gives them up to two years to make such a move. 

That decision brought a lawsuit by a state conservative group that argued the voters should have been deactivated right away. The case ultimately went to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which sided with the elections commission in April of 2021.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission notes state voters can check whether they are registered and active online at this website.

Deactivated voters can re-register at that site as well, up to 20 days prior to an election, as long as they have a current driver's license or state ID card.

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