ELECTIONS — GENERAL PROVISIONS; BALLOTS AND VOTING SYSTEMS
Elections board; powers and duties.
Compliance review; appeal.
Action to compel compliance.
Petition for enforcement.
Petition for enforcement of voting rights.
Certification of documents.
Division of municipalities into wards.
Enforcement of division requirement.
Polling place requirements.
Voting machine requirements.
Use of voting machines or systems.
Voting machine ballots.
Multiple columns and rows.
Spring primary ballots.
Spring election ballots.
September primary ballots.
General election ballots.
Special referendum ballots.
Correcting ballot errors.
ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS
Adoption, experimentation or discontinuance of systems.
Instruction of electors.
Demonstrator electronic voting system.
Ballot information; arrangement; absentee ballots.
Preparation for use of voting devices; comparison of ballots.
Testing of equipment; custody of programs and ballots.
Receiving, counting, tallying and return of ballots.
Proceedings at central counting location.
Requisites for approval of ballots, devices and equipment.
Bond may be required.
Sample ballot labels and cards; publication.
Construction of chs. 5 to 12.
Except as otherwise provided, chs. 5
shall be construed to give effect to the will of the electors, if that can be ascertained from the proceedings, notwithstanding informality or failure to fully comply with some of their provisions.
(2) General provisions of election laws apply.
The general provisions of chs. 5
apply to all elections.
Except as provided in par. (b)
, in every election to choose any officer, each elector has one vote for each office unless clearly indicated otherwise. The person receiving the greatest number of legal votes for the office shall be declared elected, and the canvassers shall so determine and certify.
In an election to fill a nonpartisan state office, if no names are certified to appear on the ballot, no person may be declared elected.
If 2 or more candidates for the same office receive the greatest, but an equal number of votes, the winner shall be chosen by lot in the presence of the board of canvassers charged with the responsibility to determine the election, or in the case of an election for state or national office or metropolitan sewerage commissioner, if the commissioner is elected under s. 200.09 (11) (am)
, in the presence of the chairperson of the board or the chairperson's designee.
If, in a primary, 2 or more candidates receive an equal but not the greatest number of votes so that only one of those candidates with equal votes may advance to the final election, the choice shall similarly be made by drawing lots.
The candidates may, if all those tied for the same office are present, draw for themselves. Upon refusal or absence of any of the candidates, the board of canvassers shall appoint a competent person to draw, and upon the results declare and certify the winner.
If a question is submitted to the electors and an equal number of votes are cast for and against adoption, the question fails adoption.
(5) Election of governor and lieutenant governor. 5.01(5)(a)(a)
In every general election to choose the governor and the lieutenant governor, each elector shall have a single vote applicable to both offices. The persons receiving the greatest number of legal votes cast jointly for them for governor and lieutenant governor shall be declared elected, and the canvassers shall so determine and certify.
In case 2 or more slates have an equal and the highest number of votes for governor and lieutenant governor, the 2 houses of the legislature shall at the next annual session choose by joint ballot one of the slates so having an equal and the highest number of votes for governor and lieutenant governor.
The supreme court has consistently construed election statutes as being directory, in keeping with sub. (1) that the election laws shall be construed to give effect to the will of the electors. Lanser v. Koconis, 62 Wis. 2d 86
, 214 N.W.2d 425
When 40% of registered voters were denied ballots in an election to remove a county seat, the election was set aside even though the outcome probably was not affected. McNally v. Tollander, 100 Wis. 2d 490
, 302 N.W.2d 440
Sub. (1) applies only after an election has been held and the will of the people manifested. City of Chippewa Falls v. Town Of Hallie, 231 Wis. 2d 85
, 604 N.W.2d 300
(Ct. App. 1999).
In chs. 5
, unless the context requires otherwise:
"Automatic tabulating equipment" means apparatus which automatically examines and counts votes recorded on ballots or voting machines and tabulates the results.
"Ballot" means a tabulating card, ballot label, sheet of paper or envelope on which votes are recorded. The term also includes a sheet or card, filmstrip or other device listing or containing information relative to offices, candidates and referenda which is placed, projected or composed on the board or screen inside a voting machine.
"Ballot label" means the page, card or material containing the names of offices and candidates or referenda to be voted on, which is placed on a voting device. The term does not include a sticker applied to ballots to fill a vacancy in a nomination.
"Block" means an area which is the smallest geographic area used by the U.S. bureau of the census for data collection and tabulation.
"Board" means the elections board.
"County clerk" includes the executive director of the county board of election commissioners and their authorized representatives.
"Educational officer" means the state superintendent and school board members.
"Elected official" means an individual who is elected to a national, state or local office.
"Election" means every public primary and election.