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State of Wisconsin Mails Postcards to Inactive Voters

Posted in
Date: 
April 16, 2013

MADISON, WI – The Government Accountability Board’s Elections Division mailed postcards Monday to nearly 300,000 Wisconsin registered voters who have not voted in the past four years.

“This is an official mailing, and voters can be assured it is not a scam or identity theft scheme,” said Kevin J. Kennedy, director and general counsel of the G.A.B.  “State and federal law require inactive voters to be removed from the statewide voter list.  This is just one of several measures the Board takes regularly to ensure the integrity of voting in Wisconsin.”

The postcard is titled “Notice of Suspension,” and asks voters if they wish to remain active in the Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS).  Voters have one month to contact their municipal clerk with a return postcard to maintain their active status on the voter list.  Voters who do not respond to the postcard, or whose postcard is returned as undeliverable by the Post Office, will be marked as inactive on the voter list.

“This mailing is not designed to keep any active voter’s name off the poll list,” said Elections Division Administrator Michael Haas. “Rather, its purpose is to help Wisconsin maintain accurate and quality voter data, and make sure every voter’s name and address is correct and current, and to remove names of voters that no longer wish to vote from poll lists.”

Voters who receive the card but believe they have voted in Wisconsin in the past four years should contact their local municipal clerk, who is responsible for recording whether someone voted in an election. A directory of municipal clerks is available on the Board’s website: http://gab.wi.gov/clerks/directory.  More information about the four-year voter record maintenance process is posted to the Board’s website.

Voters who have changed their names or addresses should not return the card, but instead re-register under their new name or at their new address.  Voters can start the registration process online at the MyVote Wisconsin website at http://myvote.wi.gov, as well as check their registration status and voting history.  

The G.A.B. is conducting the required four-year voter record maintenance process on behalf of all but one of Wisconsin’s 1,852 municipal clerks.  

The G.A.B. assisted one small Wisconsin municipality that wished to do its own mailing.  The clerk reported that it cost $261.00 to print and mail approximately 400 postcards, which works out to approximately 65 cents per postcard.  If every municipality printed and mailed its own postcards at that price, the entire mailing of 299,748 postcards would cost local taxpayers more than $194,800.  Having the G.A.B. print and mail the postcards this year cost the state $90,491.86, or 30 cents a postcard, a savings to taxpayers of more than $100,000 in printing and mailing costs alone.

Under state law, mailing these postcards is the responsibility of municipal clerks, but the G.A.B. has shouldered that responsibility for them since 2009 to ensure it is completed uniformly and cost-effectively across the state.  

NOTE TO EDITORS:  JPEG images of a sample Election Mail postcard are attached.  Your publication of the sample postcard will help assure voters it is not a scam.

 

For more information, contact: 

Reid Magney, public information officer, 608-267-7887

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NR GAB Four-Year Voter Postcard Mailing 04-16-2013 FINAL.pdf24.95 KB
4-year-postcard 1.jpg75.35 KB
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