Voter roll purge causes primary kinks for some

MADISON, Wis. - A purge of voters from Wisconsin voting rolls caused problems for some at the polls during Tuesday's spring primary.

Some voters' information was removed, even though it remained current.

Some voters arriving at the polls for the spring primary Tuesday discovered they had been incorrectly removed from the voter rolls, according to Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell.

McDonell tells News 3 upon investigating this that he believes some voters may have incorrectly been removed from the rolls as part of a voter maintenance list process performed in the fall.  

The state's election's commission sent postcards to voters in November who may have moved saying they were no longer eligible to be on the voter rolls. McDonell said he believes 51,000 voters in the county were sent that notification and some had not moved but that the voters did not reply to the postcard.

"Fortunately as a same day voter registration state those who missed or did not get the postcard could still vote as long as they showed proof of residence," McDonell said in an email.  "However, this adds another burden for voters and could really slow down a high turnout election for everyone."

Wisconsin elections officials say there is no evidence anyone was prevented from voting.

The issue could resurface in future elections that draw bigger turnout, Dane County elections officials said.

A state initiative last year removed from voting rolls anyone who had moved recently. Such voters either needed to update their voter registration information or -- if they moved out of state -- are no longer eligible to vote in Wisconsin.

State Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney apologized for any inconvenience.

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