Are you one of the 33,227 registered voters in the City of Milwaukee who hasn’t voted in about four years? Then expect a postcard in the mail asking you to continue your registration…OR ELSE.
Okay, it’s not that extreme—and it’s completely normal. Between now and June 15, the Wisconsin Election Commission will mail so-called “Suspension of Registration” cards to as many as 188,000 Wisconsin voters who haven’t voted since November 2016 or earlier.
Folks wishing to continue their registration will be asked to sign the “Application for Continuation of Registration” section of the card and drop it back in the mail. Folks who don’t respond within 30 days will be removed from the statewide voter registration system, and will have to re-register in the future.
Of the 188,000 Wisconsinites set to receive a postcard, 33,227 are in the City of Milwaukee.
“This number is comparable to past mailings; the maintenance process is routine and has not resulted in any major errors in the past,” a memo from the City of Milwaukee Election Commission says of the Milwaukee recipients. “If the notice is returned as undeliverable or if the voter does not respond within 30 days, the WEC deactivates the voter’s registration in the statewide voter registration system. Voters who are deactivated do not appear on the poll list on Election Day and must re-register in order to vote. WEC staff plan to complete this process on or before July 31, 2021.”
Anyone who has moved since they last voted will need to re-register in the future, per usual.
Also set to receive postcards in June: voters who listed themselves as “indefinitely confined” in the last election and received a ballot in the mail, but did not return it.
“Just over 16,000 of our 29,000 indefinitely confined voters did not return their absentee ballot for the April 7, 2021 Spring Election,” the Election Commission memo reads. “Performing this maintenance will help us ensure that we are not wasting postage, ballots, and labor on mailing ballots to voters who no longer wish to receive ballots by mail or do not want to vote in every single election. Prior to COVID, we would have between 6,000 – 7,000 indefinitely confined voters annually.”
It is possible that voters who received ballots in the mail but did return them eventually voted in person.
Voters who wish to remain on the “indefinitely confined” list will need to sign and return the card, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Voters who do not respond will need to reapply for the list, though their registration status will remain unchanged.
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