University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor Chris Cascio plays with his 14-month-old daughter Juniper in James Madison Park, near the apartment where he lives in Madison, Wis., on May 26, 2020. Cascio was surprised to learn he was on a list of more than 232,000 voters set to be deactivated from the Wisconsin voter rolls after he failed to update his unit number when moving apartments within the same building. While many voters like Cascio have updated their addresses, as of late May, the registrations of about 129,000 voters remained in question. Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Voter roll purge, pandemic isolation, protesting police brutality, outbreaks at meatpacking plants, secret recording


Of note: This week we highlight an examination of the complexities behind the effort to remove tens of thousands of registrations from Wisconsin’s voter rolls — a fight that is also playing out in several other battleground states ahead of the high-stakes 2020 elections. 

Reporters Michael Parsky, Kynala Phillips and Dana Munro lay out the arguments for and against mass removal of voter registrations and Wisconsin’s position as one of just six states that does not have to follow federal law when it comes to voter roll maintenance. The conservative-leaning Wisconsin Supreme Court recently agreed to hear the case, which was brought by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.

Conservative groups say the state should move ahead with removal to avoid the potential for voter fraud — which is exceedingly rare in Wisconsin. Opponents call the effort another form of suppression aimed at reducing the turnout of Democratic-leaning voters. 

We also highlight the latest in our Outbreak Wisconsin collaboration with WPR, and check in on protests against police brutality across Wisconsin. 

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University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor Chris Cascio plays with his 14-month-old daughter Juniper in James Madison Park, near the apartment where he lives in Madison, Wis., on May 26. Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Wisconsin’s battle over voter rolls puts 129,000 registrations in peril

Wisconsin Watch — June 6, 2020

Thousands of voters face possible deactivation as groups battle over whether Wisconsin must trim the rolls ahead of the crucial 2020 election.

In secret recording, Vos says immigrant ‘culture’ was to blame for COVID-19 outbreak in Racine County

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — June 11, 2020

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos blamed the culture of immigrant populations for a coronavirus outbreak in Racine County, according to a secret recording of his meeting last month with Gov. Tony Evers.

Last summer Beverly Blietz drove for Uber in her northern Wisconsin community. This summer she unexpectedly found her movements restricted — due to her age, the virus, and the rules of the independent living facility where she lives in Sister Bay, Wis. Courtesy of Beverly Blietz

Introducing 85-year-old Beverly Blietz: ‘I grieve for the time that’s being wasted’

Wisconsin Watch/WPR — June 9, 2020

Meet Beverly Blietz, 85, whose life has quickly transformed. Before coronavirus arrived, she spent time chatting with folks as she drove around Door County as an Uber contractor. But now she is cooped up in an independent living facility that dramatically restricts her movement. This is the latest installment in our Outbreak Wisconsin series in collaboration with WPR.

Protesters, above, during the open housing marches cross the 16th Street Viaduct in this photo from the Sept. 9, 1967, Milwaukee Star newspaper. Below, a group marches on North Avenue in Milwaukee on May 31, 2020, following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Allison Dikanovic / Wisconsin Watch

Opinion: Demands of justice for George Floyd echo Wisconsin’s long history of black and brown protests

Wisconsin Watch/Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service — June 10, 2020

Although vilified in their day, participants in Milwaukee’s 1960s civil rights movement, including Roberto Hernandez and Father James Groppi, are now celebrated by the city.

Coronavirus outbreaks climb at U.S. meatpacking plants despite protections, Trump order

Investigate Midwest — June 6, 2020

Coronavirus outbreaks at U.S. meatpacking plants continue to soar as the beleaguered industry ramps up production, scales back plant closures and tries to return to normal in the weeks after President Donald Trump declared it an essential operation.

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (wisconsinwatch.org) collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, PBS Wisconsin, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

The byline "Wisconsin Watch" represents members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's editorial and public engagement and marketing staff.