Jan. 14 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin appeals court on Tuesday issued a hold on an order to purge more than 200,000 voters from the state's voter rolls.
District 4 Court of Appeals Judges Michael Fitzpatrick, JoAnne Kloppenburg and Jennifer Nashold wrote that they issued the order quickly after having previously declined to block the purge because they knew the election commission planned to meet later in the day.
Fitzgerald also issued a separate decision halting a ruling by an Ozaukee County judge who found the commission in contempt of court for not following his order to suspend voter registrations.
Rick Esenberg, president of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty who launched the lawsuit, said he would focus on continuing the appeals process.
"What is true yesterday is true today," he said. "The Wisconsin Elections Commission isn't following state law and we look forward to making that case in the Court of Appeals."
Circuit Judge Paul Malloy in December ordered the state to remove approximately 234,000 voters given the notice in October based on data showing that they may have moved, including data from the post office and Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles.
The commission deliberated the purge on Tuesday with Republicans proposing sending a new letter to voters who may have moved and removing them from the voter rolls if they don't respond, while Democrats opposed.
"Are we going to allow in the state of Wisconsin, 200,000-plus people that should not be on the voting rolls because they've moved, they don't exist, whatever?" Republican Commissioner Robert Spindell said.
Democratic Commissioner Julie Glancey said the issue was not an example of 200,000 illegal registrants on the state's voting list.
"These are eligible, registered voters. They are not by any stretch of the imagination illegal or anything else. They are true people who registered to vote and are eligible to register to vote. They may or may not have moved," Glancey said.