TBT: Voter Purge Not First Time Right Wing in Wisconsin Tried to Rig the Rules for Dan Kelly’s Court Campaign

Flashback to 2018 When Republicans Ignored Court Order on Voting Rights, Schemed to Move Date of 2020 Presidential Primary

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MADISON, Wis. — The right-wing effort to impose a voter roll purge in Wisconsin is just the latest effort to rig the rules to give their favored state Supreme Court candidate Dan Kelly an unfair advantage for his Spring 2020 election bid. One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne noted that in late 2018 state Republicans passed legislation to restrict early voting in defiance of a federal court order, and tried, but ultimately failed, to move the date of Wisconsin’s Presidential preference primary.

“The right wing and Republicans in Wisconsin have time and again rigged the rules on voting to try to give themselves and their allies like Dan Kelly an unfair electoral advantage,” said One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne. “They tried to do it in December 2018 and they’re back at it with their attempt to force a voter roll purge.”

After record-setting early voting in Wisconsin for the November 2018 elections, Republicans, who lost every race on the statewide ballot, attempted to reimpose limits on early voting that a federal judge had already found to be racially motivated when striking them down. The federal court again stepped in to block the brazen, anti-voter maneuver by the right.

The GOP-controlled legislature also tried, but failed, to move the date of Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential primary preference from April, when it would occur along with elections for local offices and Kelly’s seat on the state Supreme Court, to March. The Republican leader of the Senate at the time publicly admitted the move was intended to boost Kelly’s electoral prospects.

The current push for a purge of over 200,000 Wisconsin voters, disproportionately targets communities of color and Democratic areas of the state. According to media reports, a member of the leadership of the Republican Party of Wisconsin personally lobbied the right-wing Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty to bring legal action to compel a purge that could occur prior to the Spring 2020 elections.

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One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.