Dozens of active Green Bay area voters went to cast their ballot in Tuesday’s primary election only to find they had been removed from voter rolls.
Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney attributed many problems voters experienced on Tuesday to a multistate electronic tracking system the state started using in 2016 to update its statewide voter rolls.
He said the system sent postcards in November to close to 400,000 voters the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, identified as people who moved and would need to either confirm their details or register with updated information.
“When somebody tells the Social Security office or DMV or the Post Office that they have a new address, then ERIC looks at that and other criteria to determine whether or not they think someone has moved,” Magney said. “Some voters reporting problems Tuesday were declared inactive after failing to respond to a postcard they received asking them if they were still an active voter (residing there.)”…
Magney said WEC will refine the criteria ERIC uses to identify voters to remove from active rolls prior to 2019, the next year that the agency will review the state’s voter rolls
“We apologize if people were incorrectly removed from the active list. We apologize for any inconvenience it caused them,” Magney said. “This was the first ERIC mailing that we’ve done. Based on our experience with this, the next time we’d do it, in 2019, we’re going to work with ERIC to refine the criteria.”
He added that some callers who complained to WEC accused the commission of executing a purge of voter rolls based on political preferences. He said it was a bipartisan problem.
“In some of the phone calls, it was suggested this is an effort to disenfranchise Republicans or Democrats,” Magney said. “When you register to vote, you don’t register by party. We don’t keep track of which party’s primary you vote in. We have no idea what political preference is for any individual voter based on WEC records. We have no way of knowing (political affiliations) and have no interest in disenfranchising anyone.”
Remember, ERIC is supposed to be the better system (compared to Cross Check) in terms of false positives leading to disenfranchisement.