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Wisconsin's top court rules against a vigorous culling of the voter rolls

Resolving for good what had been the biggest fight in years over voter rolls, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Friday against making the state aggressively cull its registration lists.

The 5-2 decision means an estimated 72,000 people technically remain eligible to vote next year, when the state expects to host two of the hottest Senate and governor's races in the country. But that seeming victory for the cause of easy access to the ballot box may prove entirely symbolic: The Wisconsin Elections Commission says that not one of those people voted in the presidential election last year, suggesting they may all have died or moved out of state and might not really deserve spots on the roster any more.

That mixed outcome echoes the sharp partisan divide nationwide over voter rolls. Republicans say too many of them are outdated or riddled with inaccuracies and that democracy is best served with proper "maintenance" that rules out any possibility of cheating. Democrats say that the risk of fraud does not merit sweeping "purges" that would end up denying eligible but infrequent voters their rights.

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"No one should be disadvantaged in exercising that right, and it is critical that all citizens have confidence in the electoral process," said Augusta Chairman Fred Ridley

Fifth suit filed against Ga. voting law. Abrams' challenge gets clipped. Masters boss weighs in.

While the number of major sporting events roiled by Georgia's voting law looks to hold steady, now that it's expanded to two, the number of lawsuits to reverse the new restrictions keeps steadily growing.

The Masters got underway Thursday, but not before the Augusta National Golf Club's reputation as proudly insulated from modernity got rattled by the large number of golfers and the club's own chairman speaking out about the biggest civil rights story of the year.

At the same time, civic engagement groups that sent millions of absentee ballot applications to Georgians last year sued to block provisions of the law they alleged would unconstitutionally curtail such outreach. It was the fifth such federal suit filed in the two weeks since Gov. Brian Kemp signed the measure, and more are in the works.

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Fresh wave of bills would curb voting nationwide as Georgia law keeps drawing fire

The pace of the drive to curb voting across the country is surging, despite the polarizing reaction to the sweeping election restrictions just enacted in Georgia.

The numbers so frequently cited with alarm by voting rights advocates in recent weeks — 253 bills proposed to make it tougher to participate in democracy in 43 states — were calculated by the Brennan Center for Justice. But the progressive think tank reported Thursday that those metrics have become woefully outdated:

In little more than a month, it calculated, the amount of restrictive legislation has soared 43 percent — to 361 bills now pending in 47 legislatures, almost all proposed by Republicans.

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