A Wisconsin appeals court Friday reversed an Ozaukee County judge’s ruling to quickly remove thousands of people from the swing state’s voter rolls because they are believed to have moved recently.
The decision affects over 200,000 who were ordered to be removed from the voter rolls until they re-register to vote to reflect their believed move or confirmed their current address, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
The appeals court also overturned a contempt order against the Wisconsin Board of Elections for not removing the voter registrations.
The board faced a $50-a-day fine and three Democratic commissioners were also to be fined $250 a day until the voters were removed from the rolls, CNN reported.
The thousands of voters in question will stay on the rolls for the state’s April 7 presidential primary.
“We appreciate the Court of Appeals decision and will move forward with the process approved by the members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission in June 2019 for handling mailings sent to potential movers,” Meagan Wolfe, the director of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, said in a statement on Friday.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission notified about 232,000 people in October to update their voter registrations or they would be removed in 2021.
Three voters represented by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed a lawsuit in November asking for an Ozaukee County judge to force the commission to remove the voters sooner with the upcoming election year, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported at the time.
The lawsuit was based on a law that said voters should be removed if they haven’t responded to notifications within 30 days and there is reliable information that they have moved. The appeals court ruled that the law only applied to local clerks, not the state commission.
Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, applauded the appeals court’s decision.
“Today’s decision is a win not only for the Wisconsinites who were nearly purged from the voter rolls, but also for our democracy,” he tweeted.
Wolfe said that while she agreed with the ruling, people need to make sure they update their voter registrations.
“The important thing for voters to know is that if you have moved, you need to be registered at your current address before you can vote,” she said in the statement.
“No voters have been deactivated if they did not respond to the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s mailing in October 2019 to voters who may have moved. The mailing was to make sure that voters who have moved know how to reregister at their current address and to encourage them to do that before the election or on election day.”
After the appeals court’s decision, the people who filed the lawsuit will try again in the Supreme Court, according to the president of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, Rick Esenberg.
“Wisconsin deserves clean elections in 2020,” Esenberg said in a statement. “It is our intent to seek review in the Wisconsin Supreme Court to ensure that the Wisconsin Elections Commission complies with state law.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.