A current and complete residential address, including a numbered street address, if any, and the name of a municipality.
If an elector's address has changed since a piece of identification was issued, the new information may be typed or printed on the identification by hand, in ink.
Forms of identification which constitute acceptable proof of residence under this section, when they contain the information specified in par. (a)
, include the following:
A Wisconsin motor vehicle operator's license.
Any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit or by an employer in the normal course of business, but not including a business card.
A check-cashing or courtesy card issued by a merchant in the normal course of business.
A real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year or the year preceding the date of the election.
A residential lease which is effective for a period that includes election day.
A university, college or technical institute fee card.
A university, college or technical institute identification card.
A gas, electric or telephone service statement for the period commencing not earlier than 90 days before election day.
Forms of identification specified in par. (c)
which are valid for use during a specified period shall be valid on the day of an election in order to constitute acceptable proof of residence at that election.
Verification of voters not appearing on list. 6.56(1)(1)
The list containing the names of persons voting under ss. 6.29
and 6.55 (2)
shall be returned together with all forms and certificates to the municipal clerk.
Upon receipt of the list, the municipal clerk shall make a check to determine whether each person who has been allowed to vote under s. 6.55 (3)
is properly registered. If so, the clerk shall correct the registration list. If the address on the registration list is not correct, the clerk shall correct the address. The clerk shall then notify the elector by postcard when he or she is properly registered. If such person is found not to be properly registered, the clerk shall send the person a 1st class letter with that information, containing a mail registration form under s. 6.30 (4)
. The letter shall be marked "Address correction requested". If such letter is returned undelivered, or if the U.S. postal service notifies the clerk of an improper address which was apparently improper on the day of the election, the clerk shall notify the district attorney.
Upon receipt of the list under sub. (1)
, the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners shall make an audit of all electors registering to vote at the polling place or other registration location under s. 6.55 (2)
and all electors registering by agent on election day under s. 6.86 (3) (a) 2.
The audit shall be made by 1st class postcard. The postcard shall be labeled "Address correction requested" or "Do not forward—return postage guaranteed". If any postcard is returned undelivered, or if the clerk or board of election commissioners is informed of a different address than the one specified by the elector which was apparently improper on the day of the election, the clerk or board shall remove the elector's name from the registration list, mail the elector a notice of the removal and provide the name to the district attorney for the county where the polling place is located.
After each election, the municipal clerk shall carefully check to assure that no person has been allowed to vote more than once. Whenever the municipal clerk has good reason to believe that a person has voted more than once in an election, the clerk shall send the person a 1st class letter with return receipt and address correction requested, informing him or her that all registrations relating to that person may be canceled within 7 days unless the person contacts the office of the clerk to clarify the matter. A copy of such letter and any subsequent information received from or about the addressee shall be sent to the district attorney.
Whenever any letter or postcard mailed under this section is returned undelivered, or whenever the U.S. postal service notifies the clerk of an improper address which was apparently improper on the day of the election or whenever it otherwise appears that a person has voted who is not qualified or has voted more than once in an election, and the person has been permitted to vote after corroboration was made under s. 6.55 (2)
or 6.86 (3) (a) 2.
, the name of the corroborator shall also be provided to the district attorney.
The municipal clerk may not disqualify an elector under this section except upon the grounds and in accordance with the procedures specified in s. 6.325
Registration list for school and special elections.
If the registration list has not been revised in time to be used at any school or special election, the registration list used at the last preceding general or municipal election plus a supplementary list shall be used for the election. Before issuing the supplementary list the municipal clerk shall add the newly registered electors and strike the names of those electors known to have died or become disqualified since the registration list was last revised.
History: 1975 c. 85
; Stats. 1975 s. 6.57; 1977 c. 394
Time off for voting. 6.76(1)(1)
Any person entitled to vote at an election is entitled to be absent from work while the polls are open for a period not to exceed 3 successive hours to vote. The elector shall notify the affected employer before election day of the intended absence. The employer may designate the time of day for the absence.
No penalty, other than a deduction for time lost, may be imposed upon an elector by his or her employer by reason of the absence authorized by this section.
This section applies to all employers including the state and all political subdivisions of the state and their employees, but does not affect the employees' right to holidays existing on June 28, 1945, or established after that date.
History: 1977 c. 394
; 1991 a. 316
Place for voting. 6.77(1)(1)
An elector may vote only at the polling place for his or her residence designated by the governing body or board of election commissioners.
Whenever territory which was formerly a part of one municipality becomes a part of another municipality, an elector of the territory shall vote in the municipality in which the territory is included on the day of the election.
History: 1975 c. 85
; 1985 a. 304
The polls at any election shall be open:
In 1st, 2nd and 3rd class cities, from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
In 4th class cities, villages and towns, from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.; extendable by the governing body to not earlier than 7 a.m. Notice of the change of hours shall be given by publication in a newspaper, under ch. 985
, once each week for 2 successive weeks, with the first insertion not less than 8 days before the election. The new hours shall take effect only after the notice provisions have been complied with. When the ordinance applies to all future elections, notice need be given only for the first election affected by the change.
The polls at school elections shall be open the same hours as provided under subs. (1)
in the municipality or municipalities in which the school district is located, except as authorized in s. 120.06 (9) (a)
Any elector waiting to vote, whether within the polling booth or in the line outside the booth at the time the polls officially close, shall be permitted to vote.
History: 1985 a. 304
; 1991 a. 316
Two election officials at each election ward shall be in charge of and shall maintain 2 separate lists of all persons voting. The municipal clerk may elect to maintain the information on the poll list manually or electronically. If the list is maintained electronically, the officials shall enter the information into an electronic data recording system that enables retrieval of a printed copy of the poll list at the polling place. The system employed is subject to the approval of the board.
(1) Municipalities without registration.
Except as provided in sub. (6) (a)
, where there is no registration, before being permitted to vote, each person shall state his or her full name and address. The officials shall enter each name and address on a poll list in the same order as the votes are cast. If the residence of the elector does not have a number, the election officials shall, in the appropriate space, enter "none". Alternatively, the municipal clerk may maintain a poll list consisting of the full name and address of electors compiled from previous elections. Whenever an elector appears to vote, the officials shall verify the correctness of the elector's name and address, and shall enter a serial number next to the name of the elector in the order that the votes are cast, beginning with the number one. If the name and address of an elector do not appear on the prepared poll list, the officials shall enter the name, address and serial number of the elector at the bottom of the list. The officials may require any elector to provide identification, including acceptable proof of residence, or to have another elector corroborate his or her information in accordance with the procedure specified in s. 6.55 (2) (b)
before permitting the elector to vote. An elector who presents an identification card under sub. (6) (a)
is not required to provide separate identification. The officials shall maintain a separate list of those persons voting under ss. 6.15
(2) Municipalities with registration.
Except as provided in sub. (6) (b)
, where there is registration, each person, before receiving a voting number, shall state his or her full name and address. Upon the prepared registration list, after the name of each elector, the officials shall enter the serial number of the vote as it is polled, beginning with number one. Each elector shall receive a slip bearing the same serial number. A separate list shall be maintained for electors who are voting under s. 6.15
or 6.55 (2)
and electors who are reassigned from another polling place under s. 5.25 (5) (b)
. Each such elector shall have his or her full name, address and serial number likewise entered and shall be given a slip bearing such number.
(3) Refusal to give name and address.
Except as provided in sub. (6)
, if any elector offering to vote at any polling place refuses to give his or her name and address, the elector may not be permitted to vote.
(4) Supplemental information.
When any elector provides identification under sub. (1)
or s. 6.15
or 6.55 (2)
, the election officials shall enter the type of identification on the poll or registration list, or supplemental list maintained under sub. (2)
. If the form of identification includes a number which applies only to the individual holding that piece of identification, the election officials shall also enter that number on the list. When any elector corroborates the registration identity or residence of any person offering to vote under sub. (1)
or s. 6.55 (2) (b)
, or the registration identity or residence of any person registering on election day under s. 6.86 (3) (a) 2.
, the name and address of the corroborator shall also be entered next to the name of the elector whose information is being corroborated on the registration or poll list, or the separate list maintained under sub. (2)
. When any person offering to vote has been challenged and taken the oath, following the person's name on the registration or poll list, the officials shall enter the word "Sworn".
(5) Poll list format.
Poll lists shall be kept on forms or in an electronic format prescribed by the board to be substantially similar to the standard registration list forms used in municipalities where registration is required and shall require, for each person offering to vote, the entry of the person's full name and address, except as otherwise required under sub. (6) (a)
(6) Confidential names and addresses. 6.79(6)(a)(a)
In municipalities where there is no registration, an elector who has a confidential listing under s. 6.47 (2)
may present an identification card issued under s. 6.47 (3)
in lieu of providing his or her name and address. If the elector resides in the area served by the polling place, the inspectors shall then enter the elector's name and identification serial number on the poll list in a section following the other names, shall issue a voting serial number to the elector and shall record that number on the poll list and permit the elector to vote.
In municipalities where registration is required, an elector who has a confidential listing under s. 6.47 (2)
may present his or her identification card issued under s. 6.47 (3)
or may give his or her name and identification serial number issued under s. 6.47 (3)
. If the elector's name and identification serial number appear on the confidential portion of the list, the inspectors shall issue a voting serial number to the elector, record that number on the registration list and permit the elector to vote.
Mechanics of voting. 6.80(1)(1)
Voting booth or machine use.
Only one individual at a time is permitted to occupy a voting booth or machine, except that an elector who is a parent or guardian may be accompanied by the elector's minor child or minor ward, and an elector who qualifies for assistance under s. 6.82 (2)
may be assisted as provided in that subsection.
Upon receiving his or her ballot and without leaving the polling place, the elector shall enter an unoccupied voting booth or machine alone to cast his or her vote, except as authorized in sub. (1)
. An elector may use or copy an unofficial sample ballot which may be marked in advance of entering the polling place, but an elector may not use or bring into the polling place any ballot printed upon paper of the type required or utilized for official ballots at that polling place.
In partisan primaries, an elector may vote for a person as the candidate of the party of the elector's choice, if that person's name does not appear on the official ballot of that party, by writing in the name of the person in the space provided on the ballot or the ballot provided for that purpose, or where voting machines are used, in the irregular ballot device, designating the party for which the elector desires such person to be the nominee.
After preparing his or her ballot, unless the ballot is intended for counting with automatic tabulating equipment, the elector shall fold it so its face will be concealed.
Any elector who, by accident or mistake, spoils or erroneously prepares a ballot may receive another, by returning the defective ballot, but not to exceed 3 ballots in all.
If an elector receives a ballot which is not initialed by 2 inspectors, or is defective in any other way, the elector shall return it to the inspectors. If the initials are missing, the inspectors shall supply the missing initials. If the ballot is defective, they shall destroy it and issue another ballot to the elector.
Upon voting his or her ballot, the elector shall publicly and in person deposit it into the ballot box or deliver it to an inspector, who shall deposit the ballot into the ballot box.
In the presidential preference primary and other partisan primary elections at polling places where ballots are distributed to electors, unless the ballots are prepared under s. 5.655
or are utilized with an electronic voting system in which all candidates appear on the same ballot, after the elector prepares his or her ballot the elector shall detach the remaining ballots, fold the ballots to be discarded and fold the completed ballot unless the ballot is intended for counting with automatic tabulating equipment. The elector shall then either personally deposit the ballots to be discarded into the separate ballot box marked "blank ballot box" and deposit the completed ballot into the ballot box indicated by the inspectors, or give the ballots to an inspector who shall deposit the ballots directly into the appropriate ballot boxes. The inspectors shall keep the blank ballot box locked until the canvass is completed and shall dispose of the blank ballots as prescribed by the municipal clerk.
(3) Time in booth or machine. 6.80(3)(a)(a)
Each elector shall be allowed a reasonable time to vote. Unless otherwise specified for that election, a majority of the inspectors shall determine the time each elector shall have to mark the ballot, taking into consideration the size of the ballot and the number of electors in line waiting to vote. In no case shall the time be less than one minute. If there are electors in line waiting to vote, the time shall not exceed 5 minutes.
If an elector refuses to leave the booth or machine after being notified by one of the inspectors that the time has expired, the elector shall be removed by the inspectors.
Assisting electors. 6.82(1)(1)
Receipt of ballot at poll entrance. 6.82(1)(a)(a)
When any inspectors are informed that an elector is at the entrance to the polling place who as a result of disability is unable to enter the polling place, they shall permit the elector to be assisted in marking a ballot by any individual selected by the elector, except the elector's employer or an agent of that employer or an officer or agent of a labor organization which represents the elector. The inspectors shall issue a ballot to the individual selected by the elector and shall accompany the individual to the polling place entrance where the assistance is to be given. If the ballot is a paper ballot, the assisting individual shall fold the ballot after the ballot is marked by the assisting individual. The assisting individual shall then immediately take the ballot into the polling place and give the ballot to an inspector. The inspector shall distinctly announce that he or she has "a ballot offered by .... (stating person's name), an elector who, as a result of disability, is unable to enter the polling place without assistance". The inspector shall then ask, "Does anyone object to the reception of this ballot?" If no objection is made, the inspectors shall record the elector's name under s. 6.79
and deposit the ballot in the ballot box, and shall make a notation on the registration or poll list: "Ballot received at poll entrance".
If objection to receiving the ballot is made by any qualified elector present, the inspectors shall receive the ballot under s. 6.95
If an elector declares to the presiding election official that he or she cannot read or write, or has difficulty in reading, writing or understanding English or that due to disability is unable to mark a ballot or depress a button or lever on a voting machine, the elector shall be informed by the officials that he or she may have assistance. When assistance is requested, the elector may select any individual to assist in casting his or her vote. The selected individual rendering assistance may not be the elector's employer or an agent of that employer or an officer or agent of a labor organization which represents the elector. The selected individual shall certify on the back of the ballot that it was marked with his or her assistance. Where voting machines are used, certification shall be made on the registration list.
The individual chosen shall enter the voting booth or machine with the elector and shall read the names of all candidates on the ballot for each office, and ask, "For which one do you vote?". The ballot shall be marked or the lever or button depressed according to the elector's expressed preference. The individual selected to assist may not disclose to anyone how the elector voted.
Intoxication shall not be regarded as a disability.
The election officials shall enter upon the poll list after the name of any elector who had assistance in voting the word "assisted". The officials shall also record on the poll list the full name and address of the individual who renders assistance.
(3) Use of paper ballots.
Whenever, in a municipality in which voting machines are used, an elector declares to the chief inspector that, due to physical disability, the elector is unable to depress a button or lever on a voting machine, the inspectors shall permit the elector to vote using a paper ballot and voting booth.
(4) Solicitation prohibited.
No election official or other person assisting an elector under this section or s. 5.79
may request, suggest or seek to persuade an elector to cast a vote for or against any candidate, party or question.
An elector with dyslexia may qualify for voter assistance under sub. (2), [1971 stats.]. 62 Atty. Gen. 195.
The legislature finds that voting is a constitutional right, the vigorous exercise of which should be strongly encouraged. In contrast, voting by absentee ballot is a privilege exercised wholly outside the traditional safeguards of the polling place. The legislature finds that the privilege of voting by absentee ballot must be carefully regulated to prevent the potential for fraud or abuse; to prevent overzealous solicitation of absent electors who may prefer not to participate in an election; to prevent undue influence on an absent elector to vote for or against a candidate or to cast a particular vote in a referendum; or other similar abuses.
Notwithstanding s. 5.01 (1)
, with respect to matters relating to the absentee ballot process, ss. 6.86
, 6.87 (3)
and 9.01 (1) (b) 2.
shall be construed as mandatory. Ballots cast in contravention of the procedures specified in those provisions may not be counted. Ballots counted in contravention of the procedures specified in those provisions may not be included in the certified result of any election.
History: 1985 a. 304
; 1987 a. 391
Absent elector; definition.
An absent elector is any otherwise qualified elector who for any reason is unable or unwilling to appear at the polling place in his or her ward. Any otherwise qualified elector who changes residence within this state by moving to a different ward or municipality later than 10 days prior to an election may vote an absentee ballot in the ward or municipality where he or she was qualified to vote before moving. An elector qualifying under this section may vote by absentee ballot under ss. 6.86