If the form is sufficient to accomplish registration and the clerk has no reliable information to indicate that the proposed elector is not qualified, the clerk shall enter the elector's name on the registration list and transmit a 1st class letter or postcard to the registrant, specifying the elector's ward or aldermanic district, and polling place. If such letter or postcard is returned, or if the clerk is informed of a different address than the one specified by the elector, the clerk shall strike the name of the elector from the list. The letter or postcard shall specify "Address correction requested" or "Do not forward—", and if a postcard, "Return postage guaranteed".
Disqualification of electors.
No person may be disqualified as an elector unless the municipal clerk, board of election commissioners or a challenging elector under s. 6.48
demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that the person does not qualify as an elector or is not properly registered. If it appears that the elector or proposed elector is registered in another location, the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners may require the challenged elector to sign an authorization to cancel registration under s. 6.40 (1) (b)
and shall notify the proper official at that location. The municipal clerk or board of election commissioners may require naturalized applicants to show their naturalization certificates.
History: 1983 a. 484
; 1985 a. 304
Registration forms. 6.33(1)(1)
The municipal clerk shall supply sufficient registration forms as prescribed by the board printed on loose-leaf sheets or cards to obtain from each applicant information as to name, date, residence location, citizenship, age, whether the applicant has resided within the ward or election district for at least 10 days, whether the applicant has lost his or her right to vote, and whether the applicant is currently registered to vote at any other location, and shall provide a space for the applicant's signature. Each register of deeds shall obtain sufficient registration forms at the expense of the unit of government by which he or she is employed for completion by any elector who desires to register to vote.
The information may be recorded by any person, but the applicant shall sign his or her own name unless the applicant is unable to sign his or her name due to physical disability. In such case, the applicant may authorize another elector to sign the form on his or her behalf. If the applicant so authorizes, the elector signing the form shall attest to a statement that the application is made upon request and by authorization of a named elector who is unable to sign the form due to physical disability. Ward and aldermanic district information shall be filled in by the clerk.
The registration form shall be signed by the registering elector and any corroborating elector under s. 6.29 (2) (a)
, 6.30 (2)
or 6.55 (2)
before the clerk, issuing officer or registration deputy. The form shall contain a certification by the registering elector that all statements are true and correct.
The registration form may include a space for a voting record to be filled in by the municipal clerk. If the form does not include such a space, voting record information shall be maintained separately by the municipal clerk in such form that it may be retrieved by computer.
When an individual's registration is canceled, the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners shall enter the date and reason for cancellation on the individual's registration form.
Filing registration forms. 6.35(1)
Under the direction of the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners, the original registration forms shall be filed in one of the following ways:
In alphabetical order of the electors' names.
In alphabetical order according to street names, in numerical order on each street and in alphabetical order of the electors' names at each address on the street.
Registration forms shall be kept on file in the office of the municipal clerk. When the original forms are used on election day, they shall be returned to the clerk within 2 days after the election.
In municipalities employing data processing for keeping of registration records, original registration forms shall be maintained in the office of the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners at all times.
Duplicate registration forms shall be maintained by municipalities not employing data processing. Duplicates shall be filed in the same order as originals, except that duplicates shall be filed for the entire municipality without regard to wards.
Original registration forms in municipalities not employing data processing shall be maintained by ward. Original registration forms in municipalities employing data processing need not be maintained by ward, but the data processing system employed shall enable retrieval of the registration list by ward.
Official registration list. 6.36(1)
The municipal clerk shall compile a registration list for use in each ward following the arrangement for registration forms under s. 6.35
The registration lists shall contain the full name and address of each registered elector, a blank column for the entry of the serial number of the electors when they vote, and a form of a certificate stating that each list is a true and complete combined check and registration list of the respective wards.
Municipalities shall prepare at least 2 copies of the registration list for each ward and bind them in book form. The original registration forms constitute the official registration list and shall be controlling whenever discrepancies occur.
Transferring registration. 6.40(1)(a)(a)
Any registered elector shall transfer registration after a change of residence within the municipality in which he or she is registered by appearing in person or by mailing to the municipal clerk a signed request stating his or her present address, affirming that this will be the elector's residence for 10 days prior to the election and providing the address where he or she was last registered. Alternatively, the elector may transfer his or her registration at the proper polling place or other registration location under s. 6.02 (2)
in accordance with s. 6.55 (2) (a)
. If an elector is voting at a former ward or election district, the change shall be effective for the next election.
Any elector who changes residence within this state from one municipality to another shall give his or her previous residence upon application for registration at the new residence and shall sign an authorization to cancel voting privileges at the former residence on a form prescribed by the board and furnished by each municipality. The cancellation authorization shall be forwarded to the proper election officials no later than 3 days after the close of registration. Such elector may also transfer his or her registration at the proper polling place or other registration location as provided in s. 6.55 (2) (a)
Whenever an elector's name is legally changed, including a change by marriage or divorce, the elector shall transfer his or her registration to his or her legal name by appearing in person or mailing to the municipal clerk a signed request for a transfer of registration to such name. Alternatively, a registered elector may make notification of a name change at his or her polling place under s. 6.55 (2) (d)
Municipal clerks may transfer any elector's registration upon receipt of reliable information that the elector has changed residence within the municipality. The clerk shall mail the elector a notice of the transfer.
In addition to the revision which is required under s. 6.50
, municipal clerks may conduct door-to-door and mail registration canvasses at any time. The door-to-door canvass shall consist of both the deletion from the registration list of the names of electors who no longer reside at the address for which they are registered and the addition to the registration list of the names of electors who reside at that address. The mail canvass shall consist of the municipal clerk examining the registration records and canceling the registration of electors after the mailing of notices in accordance with s. 6.50 (1)
. The mail canvass may also consist of adding to the registration list the names of eligible electors. Both door-to-door and mail canvasses whenever made shall be made throughout the municipality in a uniform manner.
(3) Recording changes.
All changes of names and addresses under this section shall be filed with the municipal clerk and the clerk shall then correct the official registration list.
Access to registration list. 6.45(1)
After the deadline for revision of the registration list, the municipal clerk shall make copies of the list for election use. The registration list and any supplemental lists which are prepared at polling places or other registration locations under s. 6.55
, shall be open to public inspection. Under the regulations prescribed by the municipal clerk, any person may copy the registration list at the office of the clerk. A registration list maintained at a polling place may be examined by an observer when such use does not interfere with the conduct of the election.
The municipal clerk shall furnish upon request to each candidate who has filed nomination papers for an office which represents at least part of the residents of the municipality one copy of the current registration list for those areas for which he or she is a candidate for a fee not to exceed the cost of reproduction.
Poll lists; copying.
Poll lists shall be preserved by the municipal clerk until destruction or other disposition is authorized under s. 7.23
, and shall be open to public inspection. The municipal clerk shall furnish upon request to each candidate who has filed nomination papers for an office which represents at least part of the municipality one copy of the current poll list for those areas for which he or she is a candidate for a fee not to exceed the cost of reproduction. If a copying machine is not accessible, the clerk shall remove the lists from the office for the purposes of copying, and return them immediately thereafter.
History: 1975 c. 85
Challenging registration. 6.48(1)(a)(a)
Any registered elector of a municipality may challenge the registration of any other registered elector by submitting to the municipal clerk or executive director of the board of election commissioners in cities of more than 500,000 population an affidavit stating that the elector is not qualified to vote and the reasons therefor. The clerk or director, upon receipt of the affidavit, shall mail a notification of the challenge to the challenged elector, at his or her registered address.
The challenged and challenging electors shall appear before the municipal clerk within one week of notification or arrange under sub. (2)
to appear before the board of election commissioners. The challenging elector shall make an affidavit answering any questions necessary to determine the challenged elector's qualifications. Judgment rests with the municipal clerk and decisions shall be rendered as soon as heard. If the clerk cannot resolve the issue or has reservations as to the answers, the clerk may require the challenging elector to take the oath under s. 6.925
. If the challenged elector appears and contests any answer of the challenging elector, the clerk may require the challenged elector to take the oath under s. 6.94
and to answer any question necessary to determine the challenged elector's qualifications. If the challenging elector appears before the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners but the challenged elector fails to appear, such clerk or board may make the decision without consulting the challenged elector. If the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners does not sustain the challenge, the challenged elector's registration remains valid.
If the challenging elector fails to appear before the municipal clerk within one week or in cities of more than 500,000 population fails to appear before the board of election commissioners under sub. (2)
to answer questions and take the oath under s. 6.925
, such clerk or board shall cancel the challenge.
If the clerk determines that the challenged elector is not qualified, the clerk shall cancel the challenged elector's registration, make the necessary change in the registration list and notify the inspectors for the ward or election district where the elector was registered.
(2) Special procedure in populous cities. 6.48(2)(a)(a)
In cities of more than 500,000 population, objections may be made before the board of election commissioners which shall sit on the last Wednesday before each election from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. to hear objections then made or deferred under sub. (1)
. If all the objections cannot then be determined, the commissioners shall sit during the same hours the next day.
Upon appearing in person, objectors shall be examined, under oath, by the commissioners and testimony taken. Judgment rests with the board of election commissioners and decisions shall be rendered as soon as heard. All cases are heard and decided summarily. The commissioners shall determine whether the person objected to is qualified. If they determine that a person is not qualified, the name shall be stricken from the registration list and the proper ward officials notified of the change immediately.
(3) Challenge based on incompetency. Section 6.03 (3)
applies to any challenge which is made to registration based on an allegation that an elector is incapable of understanding the objective of the elective process and thereby ineligible for registration.
The municipal clerk or board of election commissioners may not disqualify an elector under this section except upon the grounds and in accordance with the procedure specified in s. 6.325
Revision of registration list. 6.50(1)
Within 90 days following each general election, the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners of each municipality in which registration is required shall examine the registration records and identify each elector who has not voted within the previous 4 years if qualified to do so during that entire period and shall mail a notice to the elector in substantially the following form:
"NOTICE OF SUSPENSION OF
You are hereby notified that your voter registration will be canceled, according to state law, for failure to vote within the previous 4-year period, unless you apply for continuation of your registration within 30 days. You may continue your registration by signing the statement below and returning it to this office by mail or in person.
APPLICATION FOR CONTINUATION
I hereby certify that I still reside at the address at which I am registered and apply for continuation of registration.
Present Address ....
If you have moved within this municipality or changed your name, please contact this office to complete a change of name or address form.
[Office of clerk or board of election commissioners
The municipal clerk or board of election commissioners shall cancel the registration of all notified electors under sub. (1)
who have not applied for continuation of registration within 30 days of the date of mailing of the notice of suspension.
As an alternative to the procedure prescribed in subs. (1)
, the governing body of a municipality where registration is required may provide for revision of registration lists under this subsection.
Following each general election, the municipal clerk of the municipality shall revise and correct the registration list by reviewing the registration of any elector who failed to vote within the past 4 years if qualified to do so during that entire period. Each such elector shall be mailed an address verification card under par. (c)
. If an address verification card is returned by the postal service to the clerk, the registration of such elector shall be canceled. Otherwise, the registration shall be retained notwithstanding failure of the elector to vote at any election, except as provided in subs. (4)
Upon a 1st class postcard bearing the mailing legend, "Do not forward - return postage guaranteed", the voter address verification shall read substantially as follows:
"OFFICIAL VOTER ADDRESS VERIFICATION
The official voter registration list shows that you are registered to vote by the name and address appearing on the front of this card. If either the name or address appearing on the front of this card is incorrect, please contact this office in person or by mail. Improper registration may result in your being denied the right to vote.
[Office of clerk
Upon receipt of reliable information that a registered elector has changed his or her residence to a location outside of the municipality, the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners shall notify the elector by mailing a notice by 1st class mail to the elector's registration address stating the source of the information. All municipal departments and agencies receiving information that a registered elector has changed his or her residence shall notify the clerk or board of election commissioners. If the elector no longer resides in the municipality or fails to apply for continuation of registration within 30 days of the date the notice is mailed, the clerk or board of election commissioners shall cancel the elector's registration. Upon receipt of reliable information that a registered elector has changed his or her residence within the municipality, the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners shall transfer the elector's registration and mail the elector a notice of the transfer under s. 6.40 (2)
. This subsection does not restrict the right of an elector to challenge any registration under s. 6.325
The municipal clerk or board of election commissioners shall cancel the registration of deceased electors by means of checking vital statistics reports. No notice need be sent of registrations canceled under this subsection.
The registration of any elector whose address is listed at a building which has been condemned for human habitation by the municipality under s. 66.05 (2)
shall be investigated by the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners. If the clerk or board of election commissioners can find no reason why the registration of such an elector should not be stricken from the registration list, the elector's registration shall be canceled. If the elector has left a forwarding address with the U.S. postal service, a notice of cancellation shall be mailed by the clerk or board of election commissioners to the forwarding address.
The municipal clerk, upon authorization by an elector, shall cancel the elector's registration.
When an elector's registration is canceled, the municipal clerk shall make an entry upon the registration card, giving the date and cause of cancellation.
Any municipal governing body may direct the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners to arrange with the U.S. postal service pursuant to applicable federal regulations, to receive change of address information with respect to individuals residing within the municipality for revision of the elector registration list. If required by the U.S. postal service, the governing body may create a registration commission consisting of the municipal clerk or executive director of the board of election commissioners and 2 other electors of the municipality appointed by the clerk or executive director for the purpose of making application for address changes and processing the information received. The municipal clerk or executive director shall act as chairperson of the commission. Any authorization under this subsection shall be for a definite period or until the municipal governing body otherwise determines. The procedure shall apply uniformly to the entire municipality whenever used. The procedure shall provide for receipt of complete change of address information on an automatic basis, or not less often than once every 2 years during the 60 days preceding the close of registration for the September primary. If a municipality adopts the procedure for obtaining address corrections under this subsection, it need not comply with the procedure for mailing address verification cards under subs. (1)
Whenever a name is stricken from the registration list, the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners shall enter the reason for striking on the list next to the stricken name.
Any elector whose registration is canceled under this section may have his or her registration reinstated by filing a new registration form.
Failure to register; rights.
No name may be added to the registration list after the close of registration, but any person whose name is not on the registration list but who is otherwise a qualified elector is entitled to vote at the election upon compliance with s. 6.29
History: 1985 a. 304
Polling place registration; voting by certification.