Scrubbing of 'dead names' a critical step toward election integrity

Scrubbing of 'dead names' a critical step toward election integrity

Scrubbing of 'dead names' a critical step toward election integrity

A Wisconsin-based conservative law firm says it's about time that election officials in the Badger State have removed more than 200,000 voters from the rolls in an effort to keep the state's election lists up to date.

In November 2020, Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by only 20,000 votes – and it's a swing state that many believe was won by Biden because of voter fraud. Now the Wisconsin Election Commission has removed 205,000 voters from the rolls in order to keep the state's registration lists up to date. But some believe those rolls should have been purged before last year's election.

Rick Esenberg is president and general counsel of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty. His legal firm filed a lawsuit in 2019 demanding that the Wisconsin Elections Commission remove voters from the rolls who failed to respond within 30 days of mailings requesting updated information from voters. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ultimately ruled that the Commission wasn't required to remove voters within that window.

"They wanted to let more time pass," Esenberg explains. "And the case ultimately went to the [Wisconsin] Supreme Court – but it didn't get decided until after the election and the court said no, the local clerks have to do that. Now I think that that's clearly wrong."

The attorney contends this case illustrates a problem in the United States with election rolls having names that don't reflect a valid registration.

Esenberg, Rick (WILL) Esenberg

"When you have a bunch of – for lack of a better term – 'dead names,' you have a potential for problems, particularly as you move to a greater degree of voting by mail, which we certainly did in 2020," Esenberg tells AFN. "And when you have all those registrations that can be voted, you have a system that's less secure than it should be."

Just last week – in its continued push for election integrity – Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit challenging the Commission's advice on the use of ballot drop boxes in the state, saying absentee ballots could simply be dropped into a drop box.

"There are just two legal ways in Wisconsin to submit an absentee ballot," WILL argues. "When voting by absentee ballot, state law says '[t]he envelope [containing the ballot] shall be mailed by the elector, or delivered in person, to the municipal clerk issuing the ballot or ballots.'"

Dropping an absentee ballot into an unstaffed, unsupervised ballot drop box "does not meet either of these legal options," the legal group argues, "and it raises significant concerns that elections are not being conducted legally …."