The sanctity of the vote

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See the partisan fight for what it is, scheming for control.

WHILE WE'RE ON the topic of how political parties connive to thwart the will of the people for their own benefit, let's look at the Wisconsin dispute over purging voter rolls.

Officials are supposed to update voter rolls regularly to keep up with move-outs and so forth, so registrations are relatively current. But anyone who has moved - everybody, in other words - recognizes it takes awhile to get settled and update everything from mailing contacts to utility hook-ups to driver's licenses and, yes, voter registrations.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission - whose members are half Republican and half Democrat - has been fairly lenient and tried to avoid purging voter lists abruptly, especially just before an election. But this year the matter has been taken to court by a conservative advocacy group and, if the lawsuit prevails - a judge ruled in the group's favor Friday, but appeal is likely - it's estimated nearly a quarter-million voters could be removed from registration rolls.

THIS COMES AS no surprise, either: A data analysis by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel finds the majority of those voters who might be purged come from places where Hillary Clinton got the most votes in 2016.

The elections commission is defending its decisions in court. Part of the commission's argument is that abruptly tossing voters off rolls going into a busy election year could result in tens of thousands of people not exercising their franchise.

Pardon our cynicism, but isn't that the intended point?

It simply cannot be denied that America's political parties have shown they are willing to get behind almost any scheme in order to gain electoral advantage. Today's hyper-partisan climate is so evenly divided nationally and in many states, like Wisconsin, that a few thousand votes one way or the other can make all the difference.

WHEN ANGRY PARTISANS on both sides are convinced their tribe is always right and the other always wrong - and that the opponent is dangerous and un-American - no wonder the scheming is without borders.

Call us crazy, but we still believe this: Nothing is more sacred to our republic than the vote. Stop looking for ways to impede it.

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