In recent years, competition between the Democratic and Republican parties to gain a tactical edge in elections has centered on technology — who had the most sophisticated system for identifying potential voters and getting them to the polls.
This time, though, the leaders of the Democratic congressional campaign organizations have settled on a new strategy: going to court.
The party has gained scattershot headlines in recent months by filing federal lawsuits in mostly purple states, alleging an array of their election laws are unconstitutional voting rights violations or contradict federal law. But the ambitions of this strategy, and the size of the investment, did not become clear until last week.
Update: The headline has been updated to reflect late developments on Tuesday, when an appeals court temporarily stopped the state from removing approximately 200,000 people from the Wisconsin voters rolls. In addition, one of the judges put on hold a ruling that found election commissions in contempt of court. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has more information.
Wisconsin's top court has cleared the way for about 209,000 people to be taken off the state's voter rolls, even while an appeal continues of a lawsuit about the future of the registration lists in one of the most prominent 2020 battlegrounds.
The state Supreme Court issued the order Monday night, just hours after a trial judge held three state election commissioners in contempt and ordered the panel to proceed immediately with the removal of the names.
The fight is at the most advanced stage of the several in bellwether states over the accuracy of their poll books. And how it's ultimately resolved could be enormously consequential for the presidential election. That's because the number of registrations in dispute is nine times larger than the margin of victory in 2016, when Donald Trump took the state's 10 electoral votes as the first GOP nominee to carry Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan in 1984.
Citizens would be automatically registered to vote, or they could register online or on Election Day, under a comprehensive voting rights proposal unveiled Friday by Mike Bloomberg.
He is the last of the prominent Democratic candidates for president to detail an agenda for making the democratic process work better. The plan was unveiled as Bloomberg took his campaign to Georgia for an appearance with Stacey Abrams, one of the most prominent civil rights advocates in the country.
"The right to vote is the fundamental right that protects all others, but in states around the country it is under attack," Bloomberg said in a statement released by his campaign.
Arizona has agreed to improve its voter registration services as part of a lawsuit settlement reached with voting rights groups.
The arrangement, announced Monday, could boost turnout in one of the nation's fastest growing and politically competitive states, where this fall both parties will be hotly contesting not only nine electoral votes in the presidential race but also a Senate seat and at least three House races.