After the inspection under par. (b)
, on the blanks furnished, they shall certify the condition of each voting machine and its counters. Each form shall be signed by each election official. After the election, one copy of each machine's certification shall be delivered with each copy of the election returns.
Appointment of election officials. 7.30(1)
There shall be 7 inspectors for each polling place at each election. In municipalities where voting machines are used, the municipal governing body may reduce the number of inspectors to 5. A municipal governing body may provide for the appointment of additional inspectors whenever more than one voting machine is used or wards are combined under s. 5.15 (6) (b)
. A municipal governing body may provide by ordinance for the selection of alternate officials or the selection of 2 sets of officials to work at different times on election day. Additional officials shall be appointed in such a manner that the total number of officials is an odd number and the predominant party under sub. (2)
is represented by one more official than the other party.
(2) Qualifications and procedure. 7.30(2)(a)(a)
Only election officials appointed under this section may conduct an election. Except as authorized in s. 7.15 (1) (k)
, each inspector shall be a qualified elector in the ward for which the polling place is established. Special registration deputies appointed under s. 6.55 (6)
and election officials serving more than one ward or when necessary to fill a vacancy under par. (b)
need not be a resident of that ward, but shall be a resident of the municipality. Special registration deputies may be appointed to serve more than one polling place. All officials shall be able to read and write the English language, be capable, be of good understanding, and may not be a candidate, other than for party committeeman or committeewoman, to be voted for at an election at which they serve. In 1st class cities, they may hold no public office other than notary public. Except as authorized under sub. (4) (c)
, all inspectors shall be affiliated with one of the 2 recognized political parties which received the largest number of votes for president, or governor in nonpresidential general election years, in the ward or combination of wards served by the polling place at the last election. The party which received the largest number of votes is entitled to one more inspector than the party receiving the next largest number of votes at each polling place. The same election officials may serve the electors of more than one ward where wards are combined under s. 5.15 (6) (b)
. If a municipality is not divided into wards, the ward requirements in this paragraph apply to the municipality at large.
When a vacancy occurs, the appointment shall be filled by the municipal clerk from the remaining names on the lists submitted under sub. (4)
or from additional names submitted by the chairperson of the county party committee of the appropriate party under sub. (4)
. If the vacancy is due to candidacy, sickness or any other temporary cause, the appointment shall be a temporary appointment and effective only for that election. The same qualifications shall be required, but vacancies may be filled in cases of emergency or because of time limitations by a person from another aldermanic district or ward within the municipality so the proper balance of party representation is maintained.
The governing body of any municipality may require all persons named on the party lists for election officials to prove their ability to read and write English and to have a general knowledge of the election laws. Examinations may be given to prove the qualifications can be met.
Not less than 30 days before any election the governing body or board of election commissioners of any municipality, by resolution, may authorize the municipal clerk or executive director of the board of election commissioners to select and employ tabulators for any election. Such authorization applies to the elections specified in the resolution, and if not specified, applies until the authorization is modified or revoked.
The tabulators shall assist and be under the direction of the election inspectors after the close of the polls.
Except in cities where there is a board of election commissioners, the mayor, president or chairperson of each municipality shall nominate to the governing body no later than their last regular meeting in December of each even-numbered year the necessary election officials for each election ward. If no regular meeting is scheduled, the mayor, president or chairperson shall call a special meeting for the purpose no later than December 31.
The 2 dominant parties, under sub. (2)
, are each responsible for submitting a list of names from which the appointees shall be chosen.
In cities where there is a board of election commissioners, the aldermanic district committeemen or committeewomen under s. 8.17
of each of the 2 dominant recognized political parties shall submit a certified list no later than November 30 of each even-numbered year containing the names of at least as many electors as there are inspectors from that party for each of the voting wards in the aldermanic district. The chairperson of the city committee, or if there is none, the chairperson of the county committee shall submit a certified list no later than November 30 of each even-numbered year containing the names of at least as many special voting deputies under s. 6.875 (4)
as are required to be appointed in the city. The chairperson may designate any individual whose name is submitted as a first choice nominee. The board of election commissioners shall appoint, no later than December 31 of even-numbered years, the required number of special voting deputies and at least 5 inspectors for each ward. The board of election commissioners shall appoint all first choice nominees for so long as positions are available, unless nonappointment is authorized under par. (e)
, and shall appoint other individuals in its discretion. The board of election commissioners may designate such alternates as it deems advisable.
In municipalities other than cities and villages located in counties having a population of more than 500,000, the committees organized under s. 8.17
from each of the 2 dominant parties under sub. (2)
shall submit a list containing at least as many names as there are needed appointees from that party. The list shall be submitted by the chairperson of each of the 2 committees to the mayor, president or chairperson of the municipality. If committees are organized in subdivisions of a city, the list shall be submitted through the chairperson of the city committee. If there is no municipal committee, the list shall be submitted by the chairperson of the county or legislative district committee. Except as provided in par. (c)
, only those persons submitted by the chairperson of each committee under s. 8.17
may act as election officials. The chairperson may designate any individual whose name is submitted as a first choice nominee. The list shall contain the signature of the chairperson and secretary of the submitting committee. In cities or villages located in counties having a population of more than 500,000, other than cities where there is a board of election commissioners, the aldermanic district or village committeeman or committeewoman for the ward or wards where each polling place is located, if there is one, shall submit a list containing at least as many names as there are needed appointees for inspector positions from the party represented by the committeeman or committeewoman. For appointments of special voting deputies under s. 6.875 (4)
and appointments of inspectors in cities and villages where there is no aldermanic district or village committeeman or committeewoman, nominations shall proceed in the same manner as in municipalities located in counties having a population of 500,000 or less. The list shall be submitted to the mayor or president. Except as provided in par. (c)
, only those persons whose names are submitted as provided in this paragraph may act as election officials. The committeeman or committeewoman may designate any individual whose name is submitted as a first choice nominee. The list shall contain the signature of the aldermanic district or village committeeman or committeewoman or the chairperson of the appropriate committee. Upon submission of each nominee's name, the governing body shall appoint each first choice nominee for so long as positions are available, unless nonappointment is authorized under par. (e)
, and shall appoint other nominees in its discretion. If any nominee is not appointed, the mayor, president or chairperson of the municipality shall immediately nominate another person from the appropriate lists submitted and continue until the necessary number of election officials from each party is achieved at that meeting.
For so long as nominees are made available by the political parties under this section, appointments may be made only from the lists of submitted nominees. If the lists are not submitted by November 30 of the year in which appointments are to be made, the board of election commissioners shall appoint, or the mayor, president or chairperson of a municipality shall nominate qualified persons whose names have not been submitted. If an insufficient number of nominees appears on the lists as of November 30, the board of election commissioners shall similarly appoint, or the mayor, president or chairperson shall similarly nominate sufficient individuals to fill the remaining vacancies. If an official is appointed whose name was not submitted on the lists, the official shall be affiliated with or designated by the appointing authority to represent one of the 2 parties that are entitled to submit lists. An official who is affiliated with one party may not be designated to represent a different party, unless the municipal clerk first makes a good faith effort to appoint an official who is affiliated with the represented party.
Notwithstanding pars. (a)
, the governing body or board of election commissioners of a municipality may make appointments of special voting deputies under this section to provide service in a community-based residential facility at any time after the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners adopts the procedures under s. 6.875
for use in a community-based residential facility located in the municipality.
Notwithstanding pars. (a)
, the governing body or board of election commissioners of a municipality may make appointments of special voting deputies under this section to provide service in a retirement home at any time after the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners adopts the procedures under s. 6.875
for use in a retirement home located in the municipality.
A party committee or aldermanic district or village committeeman or committeewoman under s. 8.17
may submit additional names for inclusion in its list of nominations under this section at any time. Whenever there are no available names on any list, the board of election commissioners or the mayor, president or chairman of the municipality shall so notify the chairman of the appropriate party committee or the appropriate aldermanic district or village committeeman or committeewoman under s. 8.17
. However, an appointment need at no time be delayed because of the lack of availability of party nominees.
If an appointing authority believes that, for good cause, it should not appoint an individual whose name is submitted as a first choice nominee under par. (b)
, it may request the board to authorize nonappointment. The board may permit nonappointment of an individual for cause demonstrated by an appointing authority.
(5) Oath of office.
Within 5 days after appointment of the election officials the municipal clerk shall give each appointee notice. The appointees shall file the official oath with the municipal clerk within 10 days after the mailing of the notice. Appointees to fill vacancies or any other election official who has not filed the oath, before receiving any ballots, shall sign the oath and return it to the municipal clerk. An inspector, after taking the oath, may administer any oath required to conduct an election.
The appointed election officials shall hold office for 2 years and until their successors are appointed and qualified. They shall serve at every election held in their ward during their term of office.
Prior to the first election following the appointment of the inspectors, the inspectors at each polling place shall elect one of their number to act as chief inspector. The chief inspector shall hold the position for the remainder of the term, except that whenever wards are combined or separated under s. 5.15 (6) (b)
, the inspectors shall elect a new chief inspector. If a vacancy occurs in the position of chief inspector, the municipal clerk shall appoint one of the other inspectors to fill the vacancy.
If any election official lacks the qualifications set forth in this section, fails to attend training sessions required under s. 7.15 (1) (e)
unless excused therefrom, is guilty of neglecting his or her official duties or commits official misconduct, the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners shall summarily remove the official from office and the vacancy shall be filled under sub. (2) (b)
History: 1971 c. 242
; 1971 c. 304
s. 29 (1)
, (2); 1971 c. 336
; 1973 c. 280
; 1975 c. 93
; 1977 c. 394
; 1979 c. 89
; 1983 a. 183
; 1985 a. 131
; 1985 a. 304
; 1987 a. 391
; 1989 a. 192
; 1995 a. 16
Change of election official numbers.
Notwithstanding s. 7.30 (1)
, the governing body or board of election commissioners of any municipality may by resolution reduce the number of election officials and modify or rescind any similar previous action. No such action may reduce the number of officials at a polling place to less than 3.
History: 1977 c. 427
; 1979 c. 260
; Stats. 1979 s. 7.32; 1983 a. 484
; 1985 a. 304
Service as an election official. 7.33(2)
Service as an election official under this chapter shall be mandatory upon all qualified electors appointed, during the full 2-year term, after which they shall be exempt from further service as an election official, under this chapter, until 3 terms of 2 years each have elapsed. Municipal clerks may grant exemptions from service at any time.
Every employer shall grant to each employe who is appointed to serve as an election official a leave of absence for the entire 24-hour period of each election day in which the official serves in his or her official capacity. An employe who serves as an election official shall provide his or her employer with at least 7 days' notice of application for a leave. The municipal clerk shall verify appointments upon request of any employer.
Each state agency shall, upon proper application under sub. (3)
, permit each of its employes to serve as an election official without loss of fringe benefits or seniority privileges earned for scheduled working hours during the period specified in sub. (3)
, and without loss of pay for scheduled working hours during the period specified in sub. (3)
except as provided in sub. (5)
, and shall not impose any other penalty upon an employe who serves as an election official.
Any employe of the state who obtains a paid leave of absence in order to serve as an election official under s. 7.30
shall certify in writing to the head of the state agency by which he or she is employed the amount of compensation that the employe receives for such service. Upon receipt of the certification, the head of the state agency shall deduct that amount from the employe's pay earned for scheduled working hours during the period specified in sub. (2)
when the employe is on a paid leave of absence.
Each employer other than a state agency shall, upon proper application under sub. (3)
, permit each of its employes to serve as an election official without loss of fringe benefits or seniority privileges earned for scheduled working hours during the period specified in sub. (3)
, and shall not impose any other penalty upon an employe who serves as an election official, except the employer need not pay wages to an employe for time not worked while the employe is serving as an election official.
Chief inspector's duties.
Subject to the supervision of the municipal clerk or executive director of the board of election commissioners, the chief inspector shall direct the conduct of activities assigned to the inspectors at the polling place. The chief inspector shall refer any question as to the proper procedure to be employed in carrying out the inspectors' duties to the municipal clerk or executive director.
History: 1985 a. 304
Inspectors' duties. 7.37(1)(1)
Adjourn to another location.
Whenever it becomes impossible or inconvenient to hold an election at the designated location, the inspectors, after assembling at or as near the designated polling place as practicable and before receiving any votes, may adjourn to the nearest convenient place for holding the election. The inspectors shall make a proclamation of the move and a law enforcement officer or other proper person designated by the municipal clerk shall be stationed at or as near as possible to the place where the adjournment was made, to notify all electors of the place to which the election adjourned. At the new location the inspectors shall immediately proceed with the election.
(2) Preserve order.
The inspectors shall possess full authority to maintain order and to enforce obedience to their lawful commands during the election and the canvass of the votes. They shall permit only one person in a voting booth at a time and shall prevent any person from taking notice of how another person has voted, except when assistance is given under s. 6.82
. They shall enforce s. 5.35 (5)
and prevent electioneering from taking place in violation of s. 12.03
. If any person refuses to obey the lawful commands of an inspector, or is disorderly in the presence or hearing of the inspectors, interrupts or disturbs the proceedings, they may order any law enforcement officer to remove the person from the voting area or to take the person into custody.
(3) Check ballot boxes.
Immediately before the proclamation that the polls are open the election inspectors shall open each ballot box in the presence of the people assembled there, turn the boxes upside down so as to empty them of everything that may be inside and then lock them. The ballot boxes shall remain locked and shall not be reopened until the polls close for the purpose of counting the ballots therein.
(4) Balloting procedure.
At polling places which utilize paper ballots or electronic voting systems in which ballots are distributed to electors, 2 inspectors shall be assigned to take charge of the official ballots. They shall write their initials on the back of each ballot and deliver to each elector as he or she enters the voting booth one ballot properly endorsed by each of them. Where paper ballots are used, the inspectors shall fold each ballot in the proper manner to be deposited before delivering it to the elector. If asked, inspectors may instruct any elector as to the proper manner of marking or punching the ballot, but they may not give advice, suggestions, express any preferences or make any requests as to the person for whom, the question on which or the ballot on which the elector shall vote.
(5) Improper conduct.
Any election official who intentionally fails to properly indorse a ballot or who intentionally gives an elector a ballot not properly indorsed shall be removed as an election official.
(6) Attach stickers.
Whenever a vacancy occurs in a nomination after the ballots have been printed and stickers are provided under s. 7.38 (3)
or 8.35 (2)
, the inspectors shall, at the direction of the municipal clerk, properly apply the stickers to the official ballots before endorsement.
(7) Registration and poll lists.
Two inspectors shall be assigned to have charge of the registration or poll lists at each election.
(8) Electronic voting systems.
Prior to the opening of the polling place, wherever electronic voting systems employing voting devices are used, the inspectors shall place the voting devices in position for voting and examine them to see that they are in proper working order and that they have the correct ballot labels by comparing them with the sample ballots.
(9) Posting sample ballots.
Two sample ballots sent by the municipal clerk shall be posted by the inspectors near the entrance to the polling place for public inspection throughout the day.
(10) Challenged electors.
If any person is challenged for cause, the inspectors shall proceed under ss. 6.92
and with the aid of other provisions of ch. 6
as appear applicable, shall resolve the challenge.
(11) Spoiled ballots.
Any spoiled ballot returned to an inspector under s. 6.80 (2) (c)
shall be immediately destroyed by one of the inspectors.
The election inspectors shall constitute the board of canvassers of their polling place and in that capacity shall perform the duties under s. 7.51
, except as otherwise designated by the municipal clerk under ss. 5.85
Political party election functions. 7.38(1)
Each recognized political party may appoint observers at polling places as provided in s. 7.39
(3) Vacancies after nomination. 7.38(3)(a)(a)
Except as provided in par. (d)
, after the death of a candidate nominated for a partisan office, either in a primary or when no primary is required under s. 8.50 (3) (b)
, the vacancy may be filled by the candidate's political party. In the case of county offices, the vacancy shall be filled by the chairperson of the county committee. If no county committee exists, the vacancy shall be filled by the chairperson of the state committee. For other offices, the vacancy shall be filled by the chairperson of the state committee. The appropriate chairperson shall file with the official or agency with whom nomination papers are filed for the office a certificate signed, certified and sworn to the same as an original nomination paper. The certificate shall state the cause of the vacancy, the name of the new nominee and the office for which the nomination is made. A political party may not nominate a candidate for an office for which no person representing that party has filed nomination papers and a declaration of candidacy.
The certificate shall be filed within 4 days of the date of notification of the vacancy and shall have the same effect as original nomination papers.
If the vacancy occurs after ballots have been printed in any county or municipality, the chairperson of the committee filling the vacancy shall supply the municipal clerk with stickers containing the name of the new nominee only. The stickers may be no larger than the space provided on the ballot for the original candidate's name and office.
There can be no vacancy in nomination prior to a party primary, except when no primary is required under s. 8.50 (3) (b)
In the event of failure to file the name of a current state chairperson, as required under s. 8.17 (12)
, the board may not recognize the state committee for the purpose of filling vacancies under par. (a)
For every polling place, each recognized political party may appoint 2 party observers and an alternate for each, as observers of the election proceedings. The appointments may be made by the county committee of the party that nominated the candidates. Party appointments shall be filled by the chairperson of the party. Except at primary elections, observers appointed by a party shall serve as observers for all candidates appearing on the ballot or in the column of that party.
Candidates at partisan primary elections, independent candidates at partisan elections and candidates at nonpartisan elections may similarly appoint one observer for each polling place to represent them.
Groups registered under s. 11.05 (1)
may similarly appoint one observer for each polling place to represent the group at any referendum election.
The board may promulgate rules prescribing procedures and standards whereby nonpartisan and bipartisan organizations of electors not affiliated with any candidate may be authorized to appoint observers under this section.
(2m) Candidate disqualification.
No candidate at an election may serve as an observer of the election proceedings at that election.
(3) Filing of appointment.
The person making each appointment shall file a signed letter of appointment with the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners of the municipality in which the appointee is designated to serve at least 4 days before the election. The file copy shall specify the name and residence of the appointee, the polling place for which appointed, and the name of an alternate appointee, if any, in case the original appointee is absent.
Upon filing, the clerk shall issue permits to the appointees giving authority to be present during the election and counting of the ballots. Upon request, the clerk shall issue a permit to the alternate appointee when an original appointee fails to serve for all or a part of the day.
(5) Poll positions.
Observers of election proceedings, as a matter of right, shall be so positioned at the polls by the chief inspector as to reasonably be enabled to closely observe proceedings and hear instructions given to voters.
Any individual, committee or candidate, at their own expense, subject to limitations upon contributions and disbursements under ch. 11
, may print a supply of sample ballots, provided they bear on their face the information required by s. 11.30 (2)
and they contain all the names shown on the official ballot.
History: 1987 a. 391
Public's right to access. 7.41(1)
Any member of the public may be present at any polling place for the purpose of observation of an election, except a candidate at that election.
The chief inspector may restrict the location of any individual exercising the right under sub. (1)
to certain areas within a polling place. The chief inspector shall clearly designate such an area as an observation area. Designated observation areas shall be so positioned to permit any authorized individual to readily observe all public aspects of the voting process.
The chief inspector may order the removal of any individual exercising the right under sub. (1)
if that individual commits an overt act which:
Disrupts the operation of the polling place; or
History: 1989 a. 192
CANVASS OF RETURNS AND CERTIFICATION
Elector intent. 7.50(1)(1)
Requirements and restrictions. 7.50(1)(a)(a)
Except as provided in s. 7.15 (6)
, only ballots provided by the person authorized to have them printed shall be cast and counted in any election.