2001 - 2002 LEGISLATURE
February 18, 2002 - Introduced by Committee on Campaigns and Elections, by
request of State Elections Board. Referred to Committee on Campaigns and
AB826,1,8 1An Act to repeal 8.15 (9), 8.20 (10), 9.10 (2) (em) 4. and 5., 9.10 (2) (o) and 9.10
2(2) (r) 1. to 3.; to renumber and amend 9.10 (4) (d); to amend 5.86, 6.87 (2)
3(form), 6.875 (1) (at), 6.875 (2) (a), 6.875 (6), 6.88 (1), 7.03 (1) (a), 7.03 (1) (b),
4(bm), (c) and (d), 7.08 (3) (intro.) and (4), 7.30 (2) (a), 7.30 (4) (b) 1., 7.30 (6) (b),
57.33 (2), 7.41 (4), 7.51 (1), 7.60 (2), 8.15 (4) (a), 8.21, 8.40 (2), 9.10 (2) (e) 3., 9.10
6(4) (a), 10.06 (3) (am), 10.06 (3) (bm), 11.21 (3), 11.21 (14) and 755.01 (4); and
7to create 7.08 (5), 7.30 (2) (am), 9.10 (4) (d) 2. and 118.15 (3) (d) of the statutes;
8relating to: various changes in election administration laws.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill makes various changes in the laws relating to administration of
elections. Significant changes include:
Poll worker qualifications
Currently, poll workers consist of election inspectors and special registration
deputies. Inspectors supervise voting generally and deputies are appointed to accept
election day registrations in municipalities where registration is required. The
inspectors at each polling place elect a chief inspector, who manages the polling
place, subject to supervision of the municipal clerk or board of election
commissioners. With limited exceptions, all inspectors must be qualified electors of

the ward, combined wards, or election district where they serve. Special registration
deputies must be electors of the municipality in which they serve. The two major
political parties may submit nominees for inspector positions, but if they fail to do
so, municipalities may appoint any qualified electors to serve. Inspectors normally
serve for two-year terms. Under this bill, any poll worker need only be a qualified
elector of this state, except that the bill also permits any pupil who is enrolled in
grades 9 to 12 of a public or private school and who is 15, 16, or 17 years of age to be
appointed to serve in any inspection position other than the position of chief
inspector. The bill requires a pupil who wishes to serve as an inspector to obtain the
written authorization of the pupil's parent or guardian and of the principal of the
school where he or she is enrolled, who must consent to allow the pupil to serve at
all elections held during his or her term of office. The bill provides that if a pupil who
receives an inspector appointment ceases to be enrolled and the pupil has not become
a qualified elector of the state, the pupil's office becomes vacant. Under the bill, at
least one inspector in addition to the chief inspector at each polling place must be a
qualified elector of the state. The bill also provides for chief inspectors to be
appointed by the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners of the
municipality where they serve.
Compensation of election officials
Currently, most election officials (inspectors, voting machine custodians,
automatic tabulating equipment technicians, members of boards of canvassers,
messengers, and tabulators) must be paid a reasonable compensation, which is fixed
and paid by the jurisdiction for whom they perform services. If a special election is
called, the jurisdiction calling the election must pay the compensation. Special
registration deputies, nursing and retirement home voting deputies, and officials
and trainees who attend training sessions may be compensated for their services at
municipal option, except that chief inspectors and chief inspector trainees must be
compensated for attendance at training sessions and examinations. This bill permits
any election official or trainee to volunteer his or her services by filing a written
declination to accept compensation. Once filed, a declination remains effective until
the official or trainee files a written revocation.
Free distribution of elections board publications
Currently, the elections board is required to publish the election laws, a manual
explaining the duties of election officials, an accounting and bookkeeping manual for
campaign finance registrants, and a manual describing the campaign finance and
prohibited election practice laws. The board must distribute free copies of the
election laws in sufficient supply to provide one copy for each polling place. The board
must distribute one copy of the election manual free to each county and municipal
clerk and board of election commissioners. The board must distribute the accounting
and bookkeeping manual and the manual describing the campaign finance and
prohibited election practice laws free to each state registrant and must distribute
sufficient copies of the manuals to local filing officers to enable distribution to local
registrants. This bill removes these requirements for free distribution.

Maps of election districts
Current law requires the legislative reference bureau to prepare maps showing
the boundary lines of congressional and legislative districts and to provide those
maps to the department of administration. The department of administration must
provide the maps to the elections board, which must distribute them to candidates
for representative in Congress, state senator, and representative to the assembly
upon the filing of nomination papers. This bill instead requires the elections board
to distribute the maps to these candidates upon request.
Disqualification of candidates
Under current law, in order to become a candidate for state or local office in this
state, an individual must swear that he or she has not been convicted of any infamous
crime for which he or she has not been pardoned. In 1996, the Wisconsin constitution
was amended to remove the reference to the infamous crime disqualifier and to
substitute a disqualification for conviction of a felony or misdemeanor designated
under state or federal law as a violation of the public trust, unless pardoned. This
bill deletes the infamous crime disqualifier from the statutes and substitutes a
requirement for a candidate for state or local office to swear that he or she has not
been convicted of a misdemeanor designated under state or federal law as a violation
of the public trust or a felony for which he or she has not been pardoned.
Restriction on dates of recall elections for local officers
Currently, a petition for the recall of an elective officer may be offered for filing
at any time after the officer has served at least one year of his or her term, and a recall
election may be required at any time after that first year if a legally valid petition
is filed. This bill prohibits any election for the recall of a city, village, town, or school
district officer whose office is being filled at the spring election from being held after
February 1 in the year of that election.
Method of calling recall elections for local officers
Currently, a petition for the recall of an elective officer of a city, village, town,
or school district is filed with the municipal or school district clerk or board of election
commissioners of the municipality or school district. If the clerk or board finds the
petition to be sufficient, the clerk or board transmits it to the municipal governing
body or school board, which must then call a recall election. This bill provides instead
for the the clerk or board, upon finding a petition to be sufficient, to call the recall
Supervision of central counting locations
Currently, any municipality that utilizes an electronic voting system may
provide for ballots to be counted at one or more central counting locations instead of
at the polling places where ballots are cast. Currently, proceedings at a central
counting location are under the direction of the municipal clerk or board of election
commissioners, unless the central counting location is at the county seat and the
clerk or board delegates this responsibility to the county clerk or board of election
commissioners. This bill permits a municipal clerk or board of election
commissioners to delegate the responsibility to supervise a central counting location
to another election official, or if the clerk or board delegates this responsibility to the

county clerk or board of election commissioners, the bill permits that clerk or board
to delegate the responsibility for supervision to another election official.
Voting in certain homes and facilities
Currently, municipalities send two special voting deputies to each nursing or
retirement home or community-based residential facility where one or more electors
apply for an absentee ballot for the purpose of conducting absentee voting. The
deputies must represent the two major political parties when party representatives
are available. Current law requires the deputies to administer an absentee voter
oath that was formerly a part of the absentee voter's certificate, but the current form
of the certificate does not require an oath and instead requires only one witness. This
bill requires the two deputies at a home or facility to each witness the execution of
the absentee voter's certificate in lieu of the oath.
Certification of the names of municipal candidates and referenda
Currently, the names of candidates for municipal office are certified for
placement on the ballot no later than two days after the deadline for filing
nomination papers or two days after the date of any village or town nominating
caucus. Except at primary elections, municipal ballot questions are certified at the
same time. This bill requires certification no later than three days after the deadline
for filing nomination papers or three days after candidate qualification following a
nominating caucus.
Notification of creation or abolition of joint municipal courts
Currently, two or more municipalities may establish a joint municipal court.
The county clerk or board of election commissioners of the county having the largest
portion of the population of the combined municipalities serves as filing officer for
the election of the judge of the court. Currently, the municipalities must notify the
appropriate clerk or board when a joint court is created. This bill requires each
municipality to send to the clerk or board a copy of the ordinance or bylaw creating
or discontinuing a joint court.
Membership on the county board of canvassers
Current law requires the county clerk to serve on the county board of
canvassers. However, if the clerk's office is vacant, the clerk cannot perform his or
her duties, or the clerk is a candidate at an election being canvased, the clerk must
designate a deputy clerk to perform the clerk's duties. This bill requires the clerk to
make this designation in advance of the circumstances that trigger the need for
service by the deputy clerk.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB826, s. 1 1Section 1. 5.86 of the statutes is amended to read:
15.86 Proceedings at central counting location locations. (1) All
2proceedings at the each central counting location shall be under the direction of the
3municipal clerk or an election official designated by the clerk unless the central
4counting location is at the county seat and the municipal clerk delegates the
5responsibility to supervise the location to the county clerk, in which case the
6proceedings shall be under the direction of the county clerk or an election official
7designated by the county clerk
. Unless election officials are selected under s. 7.30
8(4) (c) without regard to party affiliation, the employees at the each central counting
9location, other than any specially trained technicians who are required for the
10operation of the automatic tabulating equipment, shall be equally divided between
11members of the 2 major political parties under s. 7.30 (2) (a) and all duties performed
12by the employees shall be by teams consisting of an equal number of members of each
13political party whenever sufficient persons from each party are available.
AB826,5,23 14(2) At the each central counting location, a team of election officials designated
15by the clerk or other election official having charge of the location under sub. (1) shall
16check the container returned containing the ballots to determine that all seals are
17intact, and thereupon shall open the container, check the inspectors' slip and
18compare the number of ballots so delivered against the total number of electors of
19each ward served by the polling place who voted, remove the ballots or record of the
20votes cast and deliver them to the technicians operating the automatic tabulating
21equipment. Any discrepancies between the number of ballots and total number of
22electors shall be noted on a sheet furnished for that purpose and signed by the
23election officials.
AB826, s. 2 24Section 2. 6.87 (2) (form) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB826,5,2525 6.87 (2) (form)
1[STATE OF ....
AB826,6,22 County of ....]
AB826,6,44 [(name of foreign country and city or other jurisdictional unit)]
AB826,6,185 I, ...., certify subject to the penalties of s. 12.60 (1) (b), Wis. Stats., for false
6statements, that I am a resident of the [.... ward of the] (town) (village) of ...., or of
7the .... aldermanic district in the city of ...., residing at ....* in said city, the county
8of ...., state of Wisconsin, and am entitled to vote in the (ward) (election district) at
9the election to be held on ....; that I am not voting at any other location in this election;
10that I am unable or unwilling to appear at the polling place in the (ward) (election
11district) on election day or have changed my residence within the state from one ward
12or election district to another within 10 days before the election. An elector who
13provides an identification serial number issued under s. 6.47 (3) need not provide a
14street address.
I certify that I exhibited the enclosed ballot unmarked to the witness,
15that I then in (his) (her) presence and in the presence of no other person marked the
16ballot and enclosed and sealed the same in this envelope in such a manner that no
17one but myself and any person rendering assistance under s. 6.87 (5), Wis. Stats., if
18I requested assistance, could know how I voted.
AB826,6,1919 Signed ....
AB826,6,2020 Identification serial number, if any: ....
AB826,6,2121 The witness shall execute the following:
AB826,7,222 I, the undersigned witness, subject to the penalties of s. 12.60 (1) (b), Wis.
23Stats., for false statements, certify that the above statements are true and the voting
24procedure was executed as there stated. I am not a candidate for any office on the

1enclosed ballot (except in the case of an incumbent municipal clerk). I did not solicit
2or advise the elector to vote for or against any candidate or measure.