The board shall prescribe notices and instructions to be given to electors who use a ballot that is authorized under sub. (2)
in lieu of any notices and instructions that are applicable only to municipalities employing separate paper ballots.
History: 1999 a. 182
Number of ballots. 5.66(1)(1)
For local elections, where necessary, municipal clerks shall have sufficient ballots printed or otherwise prepared whenever a voting system does not utilize printed ballots to assure a ballot for all electors or voting machines. For all other elections the municipal clerks shall certify to their county clerk, on the first day of the 2nd month preceding the month in which the primary is held, the approximate number of electors in the municipality. The county clerk shall total these estimates and order a sufficient supply to assure ballots for all electors and voting machines.
The county clerk or board of election commissioners shall print a sufficient number of sample ballots. The municipal clerk or board of election commissioners shall print sample ballots whenever the municipality prepares ballots under s. 7.15 (2) (b)
. Sample ballots shall be printed on nonwhite colored paper and shall be overprinted "SAMPLE". Voting machine sample ballots shall be a reduced size diagram of the face of the board or screen inside the voting machine with all candidates, issues and voting instructions as they will appear on the official ballot. Sample ballots to be used with an electronic voting system in which ballot labels and ballot cards are used shall be an actual size copy of the ballot label and ballot card. The clerk or board of election commissioners printing the ballots shall distribute the samples approximately as follows: 45% shall be kept in the clerk's or board's office and distributed to electors requesting them; 45% shall be sent to the municipalities, or, if the municipality prints ballots, 45% shall be sent to the county for distribution to the electors; and 10% shall be reserved to be sent to the polling places by municipalities in proportion to the number certified in sub. (1)
and made available to electors at the polls on election day.
Cost of elections. 5.68(1)(1)
The cost of acquisition of ballot boxes and voting booths, voting machines or electronic voting systems and regular maintenance thereof shall be borne by the municipalities in which the boxes, booths, machines or systems are used.
Except as otherwise expressly provided, all costs for ballots, supplies, notices and any other materials necessary in preparing or conducting any election shall be paid for by the county or municipality whose clerk or board of election commissioners is responsible for providing them. If a ballot is prepared for a school, technical college, sewerage or sanitary district, the district shall pay for the cost of the ballot. If no other level of government is involved in a school, technical college, sewerage or sanitary district election, the district shall pay for all costs of the ballots, supplies, notices and other materials. If ballots, supplies, notices or other materials are used for elections within more than one unit of local government, the costs shall be proportionately divided between the units of local government involved in the election. In a 1st class city, all costs otherwise attributable to a school district shall be paid by the city.
If voting machines are used or if an electronic voting system is used in which all candidates and referenda appear on the same ballot card, the ballots for all national, state and county offices and for county and state referenda shall be prepared and paid for by the county wherein they are used. If the voting machine or electronic voting system ballot includes a municipal or school, technical college, sewerage or sanitary district ballot, the cost of that portion of the ballot shall be reimbursed to the county or paid for by the municipality or district, except as provided in a 1st class city school district under sub. (2)
The cost of compensation of election officials and trainees shall be borne in the manner provided in s. 7.03
If a charge is made for the use of a polling place, the charge shall be paid by the municipality establishing the polling place under s. 5.25 (2)
unless the polling place is used to conduct a special election that is called by a unit of government other than the state or the municipality establishing the polling place and the special election is not held concurrently with an election specified in s. 5.02 (5)
. In such case the charge shall be paid by the unit of government that calls the special election.
The clerk of each county or municipality shall submit an invoice to the clerk of each municipality or district which is responsible for payment of election costs under this section. The municipality or district shall make payment to the county or municipal treasurer.
Correcting ballot errors. 5.72(1)
As soon as possible after ballots are delivered to the county clerk or to the municipal clerk if the municipality is preparing ballots under s. 7.15 (2)
, but not later than 3 weeks before any election relating to a state or national office or statewide referendum, the county or municipal clerk preparing the ballots shall submit one copy of each ballot to the board for review of possible errors. If the contractor preparing the ballots supplies proofs in advance of ballot preparation, the clerk shall submit one copy of the proofs in lieu of actual ballots. If a voting machine ballot or other ballot combining local candidates or referenda with state or national candidates or referenda is used, the entire ballot shall be submitted, but if ballots intended for distribution to electors are used, only those ballots relating to state or national offices and statewide referenda need be submitted. This subsection does not require delay of ballot distribution or mailing of absentee ballots.
The board shall review ballots and proof copies submitted under sub. (1)
and shall notify the county and municipal clerk of any error as soon as possible but in no event later than 7 days after submission. The clerk is not required to correct a ballot error upon receipt of notice of the error, unless ordered to do so under sub. (3)
or s. 5.06 (6)
Whenever an affidavit is filed by the board or any elector alleging an error or omission in the preparation of a ballot, the circuit court for the county where the ballot is proposed to be used or its presiding judge, by order, may summarily require a county or municipal clerk to correct the error, or show cause why it should not be corrected and, by order, after the hearing, have the correction made.
History: 1979 c. 260
; 1979 c. 311
; 1979 c. 355
; Stats. 1979 s. 5.72; 1981 c. 377
; 1983 a. 484
ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS
Adoption, experimentation or discontinuance of systems.
The governing body or board of election commissioners of any municipality may by ordinance or resolution adopt, experiment with, or discontinue any electronic voting system authorized by this subchapter and approved under s. 5.91
for use in this state, and may purchase or lease materials or equipment for such system to be used in all or some of the wards within its jurisdiction, either exclusively in combination with mechanical voting machines, or in combination with paper ballots where such ballots are authorized to be used.
History: 1979 c. 311
; 1985 a. 304
Applicable procedures. 5.77(1)
So far as applicable, the procedure provided for voting paper ballots applies when an electronic voting system employing the use of ballots distributed to electors is used.
So far as applicable, the procedure provided for voting with mechanical voting machines applies when an electronic voting system employing the use of electronic voting machines is used.
History: 1979 c. 311
At polling places where an electronic voting system employing the use of ballots distributed to electors is used, the municipality shall supply a sufficient number of voting booths for the use of electors as provided in s. 5.35 (2)
History: 1979 c. 311
Instruction of electors.
At polling places where an electronic voting system employing the use of ballot cards or ballot labels and voting devices is used, the election officials shall offer each elector instruction in the operation of the voting device and ballot label or ballot card before the elector enters the voting booth. No instructions may be given after the elector has entered the voting booth, except as authorized under s. 6.82 (2)
. All instructions shall be given by election officials in such a manner that they may be observed by other persons in the polling place.
History: 1979 c. 311
Demonstrator electronic voting system.
When an electronic voting system is used in a forthcoming election, the municipal clerk may provide, for the purpose of instructing electors in the election, one or more demonstrator electronic voting systems using the names of fictitious candidates or fictitious questions for placement in any public building within the municipality in which the election occurs. If such placement of a demonstrator takes place it shall be made available at least 30 days before the election.
History: 1979 c. 311
Ballot information; arrangement; absentee ballots. 5.81(1)(1)
Whenever the statutes provide for the use of separate ballots or columns or rows for offices, parties or referenda, and an electronic voting system employing a ballot label or ballot card is used at a polling place, a single ballot may be used for all offices, referenda and parties. The ballot information, whether placed on the ballot or on the voting device, shall, as far as practicable, be grouped and ordered in the same manner as provided for other ballots under this chapter, except that the information on the ballot card need not be in separate columns or rows and the information in the ballot label booklet may appear on a number of pages.
When an electronic voting system utilizes a ballot label booklet and ballot card, ballots for candidates and ballots on referenda may be placed on the voting device by providing in the ballot booklet separate ballot label pages or series of pages distinguished by differing colors. Whenever practicable, all candidates for the same office shall appear in the booklet on the same page or facing pages. More than one question may be placed on the same ballot page or series of pages. In elections where provision is made for straight party voting, the designation of the political parties for straight party voting shall be on a separate page on which no names of candidates may appear. On each succeeding page of the candidate booklet, where the ballot information is listed vertically, the party affiliation of each candidate or the designation "independent" or the candidate's statement of principles, if any, shall appear next to the candidate's name, and the name of candidates for the same office shall be listed vertically under the title of that office.
If a municipality utilizes an electronic voting system in which ballots distributed to electors are employed, absentee ballots may consist of ballots utilized with the system or paper ballots and envelopes voted in person in the office of the municipal clerk or voted by mail. If a ballot card is used for voting by mail it shall be accompanied by a punching tool or marking device, elector instructions and a sample ballot showing the proper positions to vote on the ballot card for each party, candidate or referendum and, if the ballot card is to be punched, shall be mounted on a suitable material.
In partisan primary elections, if a ballot contains the names of candidates of more than one party or the names of party candidates and independent candidates, it shall provide a space for electors to designate a party preference or a preference for the independent candidates. Failure to designate a preference does not invalidate any votes cast by an elector, except as provided in s. 7.50 (1) (d)
If the ballot card employed by a municipality does not provide a space for write-in votes, the municipality shall provide a separate write-in ballot, which may be in the form of a paper ballot, to permit electors to write in the names of persons whose names are not on the ballot whenever write-in votes are authorized.
History: 1979 c. 311
; 1987 a. 391
Preparation for use of voting devices; comparison of ballots.
Where voting devices are used at a polling place, the municipal clerk shall cause the voting devices to be put in order, set, adjusted and made ready for voting when delivered to the polling place. Before the opening of the polls the inspectors shall compare the ballots used in the voting devices with the sample ballots furnished and see that the names, numbers and letters thereon agree and shall certify thereto on forms provided by the board.
History: 1979 c. 311
Testing of equipment; custody of programs and ballots. 5.84(1)(1)
Where any municipality employs an electronic voting system which utilizes automatic tabulating equipment, either at the polling place or at a central counting location, the municipal clerk shall, on any day not more than 10 days prior to the election day on which the equipment is to be utilized, have the equipment tested to ascertain that it will correctly count the votes cast for all offices and on all measures. Public notice of the time and place of the test shall be given by the clerk at least 48 hours prior to the test by publication of a class 1 notice under ch. 985
in one or more newspapers published within the municipality if a newspaper is published therein, otherwise in a newspaper of general circulation therein. The test shall be open to the public. The test shall be conducted by processing a preaudited group of ballots so punched or marked as to record a predetermined number of valid votes for each candidate and on each referendum. The test shall include for each office one or more ballots which have votes in excess of the number allowed by law and, for a partisan primary election, one or more ballots which have votes cast for candidates of more than one recognized political party, in order to test the ability of the automatic tabulating equipment to reject such votes. If any error is detected, the municipal clerk shall ascertain the cause and correct the error. The clerk shall make an errorless count before the automatic tabulating equipment is approved by the clerk for use in the election.
Before beginning the ballot count at each polling place or at the central counting location, the election officials shall witness a test of the automatic tabulating equipment by engaging the printing mechanism and securing a printed result showing a zero count for every candidate and referendum. After the completion of the count, the ballots and programs used shall be sealed and retained under the custody of the municipal clerk in a secure location.
History: 1979 c. 311
Receiving, counting, tallying and return of ballots. 5.85(1)(1)
At any polling place at which an electronic voting system is utilized, the following procedures for receiving, counting, tallying and return of the ballots shall be used. Whenever paper ballots are utilized at a polling place in combination with ballots employed in an electronic voting system, the paper ballots shall be deposited in a separate ballot box or boxes, according to the types of ballots used. For the purpose of transporting the ballots or the record of the votes cast, the municipal clerk shall provide a secure container for each polling place. At each polling place, the applicable portions of the procedure prescribed for initiating the canvass under s. 7.51 (1)
shall be performed, except that no count of the ballots, except write-in votes and paper ballots used for absentee voting and other purposes authorized by law, may be performed at a polling place if a central counting location is designated for the counting of ballots at that polling place by the municipality.
The election officials shall examine the ballots or record of votes cast for write-in votes and shall count and tabulate the write-in votes. When an electronic voting system is used which utilizes a ballot which is distributed to electors, before separating the remaining ballot cards from their respective covering envelopes, the election officials shall examine the ballots for write-in votes. When an elector has cast a write-in vote, the election officials shall compare the write-in vote with the votes on the ballot to determine whether the write-in vote results in an overvote for any office. In case of an overvote for any office, the election officials shall make a true duplicate ballot of all votes on the ballot card except for the office which is overvoted, by using the ballot label booklet and voting device for the ward, if any, and one of the punching or marking devices so as to transfer all votes of the elector except for the office overvoted, to an official ballot of that kind used in the ward at that election. Unless election officials are selected under s. 7.30 (4) (c)
without regard to party affiliation, the election officials shall consist in each case of at least one election official of each of the 2 major political parties, whenever officials of both parties are present. Write-in votes shall be counted as provided in s. 7.50 (2) (d)
. The original ballot upon which there is an overvote shall be clearly labeled "Overvoted Ballot" and the ballot so produced "Duplicate Overvoted Ballot", and each shall bear the same serial number which shall be placed thereon by the election officials, commencing with number "1" and continuing consecutively for each of the ballots of that kind in that ward. The election officials shall initial the "Duplicate Overvoted Ballot" ballots and shall place them in the container for return of the ballots. The "Overvoted Ballot" ballots and their envelopes shall be placed in the "Original Ballots" envelope. Ballots bearing write-in votes marked in the place designated therefor and bearing the initials of an election official and not resulting in an overvote and otherwise complying with the election laws as to marking shall be counted, tallied, and their votes recorded on a tally sheet provided by the municipal clerk. Ballot cards and ballot card envelopes shall be separated and all ballots except any which are defective or overvoted shall be placed separately in the container for return of the ballots, along with the ballots marked "Duplicate Overvoted Ballots".
The election officials shall examine the ballots to determine if any is damaged or defective so that it cannot be counted by the automatic tabulating equipment. If any ballot is damaged or defective so that it cannot be properly counted by the automatic tabulating equipment, the election officials, in the presence of witnesses, shall make a true duplicate ballot of all votes on that ballot by using the ballot label booklet and voting device for the ward, if any, and one of the punching or marking devices so as to transfer all votes of the elector to an official ballot of that kind used in the ward in that election. Unless election officials are selected under s. 7.30 (4) (c)
without regard to party affiliation, the election officials shall consist in each case of at least one election official of each of the 2 major political parties, whenever officials of both parties are present. The original ballot shall be clearly labeled "Damaged Ballot" and the ballot so produced "Duplicate Damaged Ballot", and each shall bear the same number which shall be placed thereon by the election officials, commencing with number "1" and continuing consecutively for the ballots of that kind in the ward. The election officials shall initial the "Duplicate Damaged Ballot" ballots, and shall place them in the container for return of the ballots. The officials shall place "Damaged Ballot" ballots and their envelopes in the "Original Ballots" envelope.
The original ballots shall be preserved with the duplicate ballots and delivered by the inspectors to the municipal clerk. The officials shall then make out a slip indicating the number of electors voting in person, number of absentee ballots deposited in the ballot box, and the total number of electors of each ward served by the polling place who voted at the election, which shall be signed by all the inspectors.
If the municipality has designated a central counting location to be used to count ballots under s. 7.51 (1)
, the inspectors shall count and deposit the paper ballots in the container. The inspectors shall then place the slip made out under sub. (4)
in the container. The inspectors shall also place the tally sheet recording the write-in votes and other votes cast on paper ballots, and all other ballots, or the record of the votes cast on an electronic voting system where no ballots are distributed to electors, in the container and shall thereupon immediately seal the container with an adhesive seal provided by the municipal clerk for the purpose in such manner that the seal completely covers the opening in the container, and each of the inspectors shall sign the seal. The "Defective Ballots" envelope, and "Original Ballots" envelope each shall be securely sealed and the flap or end thereof of each signed by the inspectors and returned to the central counting location with the box for return of the ballots, enclosed ballots and returns. Thereupon, the municipal clerk or 2 of the election officials shall forthwith and by the most direct route transport the container and envelopes to the central counting location designated by the municipal clerk. Unless election officials are selected under s. 7.30 (4) (c)
without regard to party affiliation, the election officials shall consist in each case of at least one election official of each of the 2 major political parties, whenever officials of both parties are present.
Proceedings at central counting location. 5.86(1)
All proceedings at the central counting location shall be under the direction of the municipal clerk unless the central counting location is at the county seat and the municipal clerk delegates the responsibility to supervise the location to the county clerk. Unless election officials are selected under s. 7.30 (4) (c)
without regard to party affiliation, the employees at the central counting location, other than any specially trained technicians who are required for the operation of the automatic tabulating equipment, shall be equally divided between members of the 2 major political parties under s. 7.30 (2) (a)
and all duties performed by the employees shall be by teams consisting of an equal number of members of each political party whenever sufficient persons from each party are available.
At the central counting location, a team of election officials designated by the clerk having charge of the location under sub. (1)
shall check the container returned containing the ballots to determine that all seals are intact, and thereupon shall open the container, check the inspectors' slip and compare the number of ballots so delivered against the total number of electors of each ward served by the polling place who voted, remove the ballots or record of the votes cast and deliver them to the technicians operating the automatic tabulating equipment. Any discrepancies between the number of ballots and total number of electors shall be noted on a sheet furnished for that purpose and signed by the election officials.
If a central counting location is not utilized, the procedure for tabulating the votes by the automatic tabulating equipment shall be under the direction of the chief inspector and shall conform to the requirements of the automatic tabulating equipment. If any ballot is not accepted by the automatic tabulating equipment, the election officials shall make a duplicate ballot to replace that ballot in the manner prescribed in s. 5.85 (3)
. All proceedings at the polling place and at any central counting location shall be open to the public, but no person, except those employed and authorized for the purpose, may touch any ballot, container, envelope, return or equipment.
History: 1979 c. 311
; 1983 a. 484
The return produced by the automatic tabulating equipment shall be appended to the tally sheet by the canvassers. The return constitutes a part of the official return for the ward or election district. The municipal clerk shall check the totals shown by the return and, if it appears that there is an obvious discrepancy with respect to the number of votes cast in any ward or election district, the clerk shall have the ballots for that ward or election district publicly retabulated to correct the return. Upon completion of the count, the return is open to the public.
History: 1979 c. 311
Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, recounts of votes cast on an electronic voting system shall be conducted in the manner prescribed in s. 9.01
. If the ballots are in readable form, the board of canvassers may elect to recount the ballots without the aid of automatic tabulating equipment. If the board of canvassers elects to use automatic tabulating equipment, the board of canvassers shall test the automatic tabulating equipment to be used prior to the recount as provided in s. 5.84
, and then the official ballots or the record of the votes cast shall be recounted on the automatic tabulating equipment. In addition, the board of canvassers shall check the ballots for the presence or absence of the initials and other distinguishing marks, shall examine the ballots marked "Rejected", "Defective" and "Objected to" to determine the propriety of such labels, and shall compare the "Duplicate Overvoted Ballots" and "Duplicate Damaged Ballots" with their respective originals to determine the correctness of the duplicates.
History: 1979 c. 311
; 1987 a. 391
Requisites for approval of ballots, devices and equipment.
No ballot, voting device, automatic tabulating equipment or related equipment and materials to be used in an electronic voting system may be utilized in this state unless it is approved by the board. The board may revoke its approval of any ballot, device, equipment or materials at any time for cause. No such ballot, voting device, automatic tabulating equipment or related equipment or material may be approved unless it fulfills the following requirements:
It enables an elector to vote in secrecy and to select the party or the independent candidates for whom an elector will vote in secrecy at a partisan primary election.
Except at a primary election, it enables an elector to vote a straight party ticket, but the automatic tabulating equipment counts the vote of an elector who casts a vote for a candidate for an office outside the straight party ticket for that office only.
Except in primary elections, it enables an elector to vote for a ticket selected in part from the nominees of one party, and in part from the nominees of other parties, and in part from independent candidates and in part of candidates whose names are written in by the elector.
It enables an elector to vote for a ticket of his or her own selection for any person for any office for whom he or she may desire to vote whenever write-in votes are permitted.
It accommodates all referenda to be submitted to the electors in the form provided by law.
The voting device or machine permits an elector in a primary election to vote for the candidates of the recognized political party or the independent candidates of his or her choice, and the automatic tabulating equipment or machine rejects any ballot on which votes are cast in the primary of more than one recognized political party, except where a party or independent candidate designation is made or where an elector casts write-in votes for candidates of more than one party on a ballot that is distributed to the elector.
It permits an elector to vote at an election for all persons and offices for whom and for which the elector is lawfully entitled to vote; to vote for as many persons for an office as the elector is entitled to vote for; to vote for or against any question upon which the elector is entitled to vote; and it rejects all choices recorded on a ballot for an office or a measure if the number of choices exceeds the number which an elector is entitled to vote for on such office or on such measure, except where an elector casts excess write-in votes upon a ballot that is distributed to the elector.
It permits an elector, at a presidential or gubernatorial election, by one action to vote for the candidates of a party for president and vice president or for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively.
It prevents an elector from voting for the same person more than once for the same office, except where an elector casts excess write-in votes upon a ballot that is distributed to the elector.
It is suitably designed for the purpose used, of durable construction, and is usable safely, securely, efficiently and accurately in the conduct of elections and counting of ballots.
It records correctly and counts accurately every vote properly cast and maintains a cumulative tally of the total votes cast that is retrievable in the event of a power outage, evacuation or malfunction so that the records of votes cast prior to the time that the problem occurs is preserved.
It minimizes the possibility of disenfranchisement of electors as the result of failure to understand the method of operation or utilization or malfunction of the ballot, voting device, automatic tabulating equipment or related equipment or materials.
The automatic tabulating equipment authorized for use in connection with the system includes a mechanism which makes the operator aware of whether the equipment is malfunctioning in such a way that an inaccurate tabulation of the votes could be obtained.
Bond may be required.
Before entering into a contract for the purchase or lease of an electronic voting system or any ballots, voting devices, automatic tabulating equipment or related equipment or materials to be used in connection with a system, any municipality may require the vendor or lessor to provide a performance bond with a licensed surety company as surety, guaranteeing the supply of additional equipment, parts or materials, provision of adequate computer programming, preventive maintenance or emergency repair services, training of election officials and other municipal employees or provision of public educational materials for a specified period, or guaranteeing the security of the computer programs or other equipment or materials to be utilized with the system to prevent election fraud, or such other guarantees as the municipality determines to be appropriate.
History: 1979 c. 311
The board may promulgate reasonable rules for the administration of this subchapter.
History: 1979 c. 311
; 1985 a. 332
s. 251 (1)
Sample ballot labels and cards; publication.
When an electronic voting system employing a ballot label and ballot card is used, the county and municipal clerk of the county and municipality in which the polling place designated for use of the system is located shall cause to be published, in the type B notices, a true actual-size copy of the ballot label and ballot card containing the names of offices and candidates and statements of measures to be voted on, as nearly as possible, in the form in which they will appear on the official ballot label and ballot card on election day. The notice may be published as a newspaper insert. Municipal clerks may post the notice if the remainder of the type B notice is posted.
History: 1979 c. 311
The board shall prescribe information to electors in municipalities and counties using various types of electronic voting systems to be published in lieu of the information specified in s. 10.02 (3)
in type B notices whenever the type B notice information is inapplicable.
History: 1979 c. 311