2003 - 2004 LEGISLATURE
March 18, 2003 - Introduced by Senators Darling, Stepp, Leibham, S. Fitzgerald,
Lazich, Reynolds, Schultz
and Cowles, cosponsored by Representatives
Ladwig, Jensen, Seratti, LeMahieu, J. Wood, Jeskewitz, Stone, Gunderson,
Krawczyk, Montgomery, M. Lehman, Owens, Vrakas, Bies, Hahn, Albers,
McCormick, Grothman, Nass
and Ott. Referred to Committee on Education,
Ethics and Elections.
SB76,1,3 1An Act to renumber and amend 6.87 (3) (b); and to amend 6.22 (2) (b), 6.24
2(4) (d), 6.87 (2) (form), 6.87 (3) (a), 6.87 (3) (c) and (d) and 6.87 (4) of the statutes;
3relating to: mailing, transmittal, and witnessing of absentee ballots.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Currently, each municipal clerk and board of election commissioners is directed
to mail an absentee ballot requested by an elector to the residence of the elector
unless the elector specifies a different mailing address. However, no elector may
specify that an absentee ballot shall be mailed to the address of a candidate, political
party, or other campaign finance registrant. If a clerk or board is reliably informed
of a facsimile transmission number or electronic mail address where an eligible
elector who has applied for an absentee ballot is able to receive the ballot and there
may not be sufficient time before an election to send and receive the ballot through
the mail, the clerk or board may transmit the ballot to the elector at the facsimile
transmission number or electronic mail address.
This bill provides that a municipal clerk or board of election commissioners may
only mail an absentee ballot to the permanent or temporary residence of an absent
elector. Under the bill, if a clerk or board transmits an absentee ballot to an elector,
the clerk or board may only transmit the ballot to an address located at the
permanent or temporary residence of the elector.
Under current law, an elector who votes absentee must complete a certification
before a witness indicating that the elector is qualified to vote the absentee ballot and
that the elector has voted the absentee ballot in the manner prescribed by law.

This bill deletes the requirement that an elector voting absentee must complete
a certification before one witness and, instead, requires an elector to complete a
certification before two witnesses or swear an affidavit before a person who is
authorized to administer oaths.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB76, s. 1 1Section 1. 6.22 (2) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB76,2,42 6.22 (2) (b) Notwithstanding s. 6.87 (4), a military elector shall make and
3subscribe to the certification under s. 6.87 (2) before a witness who is an adult U.S.
2 witnesses who are adult U.S. citizens.
SB76, s. 2 5Section 2. 6.24 (4) (d) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB76,2,136 6.24 (4) (d) An overseas elector who is not registered may request both a
7registration form and an absentee ballot at the same time, and the municipal clerk
8shall send the ballot automatically if the registration form is received within the time
9prescribed in s. 6.28 (1). The board shall prescribe a special certificate form for the
10envelope in which the absentee ballot for overseas electors is contained, which shall
11be substantially similar to that provided under s. 6.87 (2). Notwithstanding s. 6.87
12(4), an overseas elector shall make and subscribe to the special certificate form before
13 a witness who is an adult U.S. citizen 2 witnesses who are adult U.S. citizens.
SB76, s. 3 14Section 3. 6.87 (2) (form) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB76,2,1515 6.87 (2) (form)
SB76,2,1616 [STATE OF ....
SB76,2,1717 County of ....]
SB76,2,1818 or
SB76,2,1919 [(name of foreign country and city or other jurisdictional unit)]
1I, ...., certify subject to the penalties of s. 12.60 (1) (b), Wis. Stats., for false
2statements, that I am a resident of the [.... ward of the] (town) (village) of ...., or of
3the .... aldermanic district in the city of ...., residing at ....* in said city, the county
4of ...., state of Wisconsin, and am entitled to vote in the (ward) (election district) at
5the election to be held on ....; that I am not voting at any other location in this election;
6that I am unable or unwilling to appear at the polling place in the (ward) (election
7district) on election day or have changed my residence within the state from one ward
8or election district to another within 10 days before the election. I certify that I
9exhibited the enclosed ballot unmarked to the witness (2 witnesses), that I then in
10(his) (her) their presence and in the presence of no other person marked the ballot
11and enclosed and sealed the same in this envelope in such a manner that no one but
12myself and any person rendering assistance under s. 6.87 (5), Wis. Stats., if I
13requested assistance, could know how I voted.
SB76,3,1414 Signed ....
SB76,3,1515 Identification serial number, if any: ....
SB76,3,1616 The witness (2 witnesses) shall execute the following:
SB76,3,22 17I We, the undersigned witness witnesses, subject to the penalties of s. 12.60 (1)
18(b), Wis. Stats., for false statements, certify that the above statements are true and
19the voting procedure was executed as there stated. I am not Neither of us is a
20candidate for any office on the enclosed ballot (except in the case of an incumbent
21municipal clerk). I We did not solicit or advise the elector to vote for or against any
22candidate or measure.
SB76,3,23 23....(Name)
SB76,3,24 24....(Address)
SB76,3,2525 ....(Name)
SB76,4,32 * — An elector who provides an identification serial number issued under s.
36.47 (3), Wis. Stats., need not provide a street address.
SB76,4,54 ** — If this form is executed before 2 special voting deputies under s. 6.875 (6),
5Wis. Stats., both deputies shall witness and sign.
SB76, s. 4 6Section 4. 6.87 (3) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB76,4,107 6.87 (3) (a) Except as authorized under par. (d) and as otherwise provided in
8s. 6.875, the municipal clerk shall mail the absentee ballot postage prepaid for return
9to the elector's permanent or temporary residence unless otherwise of the elector, as
10directed by the elector, or shall deliver it to the elector personally at the clerk's office.
SB76, s. 5 11Section 5. 6.87 (3) (b) of the statutes is renumbered 6.87 (3) (e) and amended
12to read:
SB76,4,2013 6.87 (3) (e) No elector may direct that a ballot be sent to the address of a
14candidate, political party or other registrant under s. 11.05 unless the elector
15permanently or temporarily resides at that address.
Upon receipt of reliable
16information that an address given by an elector is not eligible to receive ballots under
17this paragraph, the municipal clerk shall refrain from sending mailing or
ballots to that address. Whenever possible, the municipal clerk shall
19notify an elector if his or her ballot cannot be mailed or transmitted to the address
20directed by the elector.
SB76, s. 6 21Section 6. 6.87 (3) (c) and (d) of the statutes are amended to read:
SB76,4,2522 6.87 (3) (c) If an elector's ballot is mailed to a location other than the elector's
23permanent residence, it shall be prepaid for return when mailed within the United
24States. If the ballot is delivered to the elector at the clerk's office, the ballot shall be
25voted at the office and may not be removed therefrom.
1(d) A municipal clerk of a municipality may, if the clerk is reliably informed by
2an absent elector of a facsimile transmission number or electronic mail address
3located at the permanent or temporary residence of the elector where the elector can
4receive an absentee ballot, transmit a facsimile or electronic copy of the absent
5elector's ballot to that elector in lieu of mailing under this subsection if, in the
6judgment of the clerk, the time required to send the ballot through the mail may not
7be sufficient to enable return of the ballot by the time provided under sub. (6). An
8elector may receive an absentee ballot under this subsection only if the elector has
9filed a valid application for the ballot under sub. (1). If the clerk transmits an
10absentee ballot under this paragraph, the clerk shall also transmit a facsimile or
11electronic copy of the text of the material that appears on the certificate envelope
12prescribed in sub. (2), together with instructions prescribed by the board. The
13instructions shall require the absent elector to make and subscribe to the
14certification as required under sub. (4) and to enclose the absentee ballot in a
15separate envelope contained within a larger envelope, that shall include the
16completed certificate. The elector shall then mail the absentee ballot with postage
17prepaid to the municipal clerk. An absentee ballot received under this paragraph
18shall not be counted unless it is transmitted and cast in the manner prescribed in this
19paragraph and in accordance with the instructions provided by the board.
SB76, s. 7 20Section 7. 6.87 (4) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB76,6,1221 6.87 (4) Except as otherwise provided in s. 6.875, the elector voting absentee
22shall make and subscribe to the certification before one witness 2 witnesses. The
23absent elector, in the presence of the witness 2 witnesses, shall mark the ballot in a
24manner that will not disclose how the elector's vote is cast. The elector shall then,
25still in the presence of the witness 2 witnesses, fold the ballots if they are paper

1ballots so each is separate and so that the elector conceals the markings thereon and
2deposit them in the proper envelope. If a consolidated ballot under s. 5.655 is used,
3the elector shall fold the ballot if it is a paper ballot so that the elector conceals the
4markings thereon and deposit the ballot in the proper envelope. The elector may
5receive assistance under sub. (5). The return envelope shall then be sealed. The
6witness 2 witnesses may not be a candidate. The envelope shall be mailed by the
7elector, postage prepaid, or delivered in person, to the municipal clerk issuing the
8ballot or ballots. Failure to return an unused ballot in a primary does not invalidate
9the ballot on which the elector's votes are cast. Return of more than one marked
10ballot in a primary or return of a ballot prepared under s. 5.655 or a ballot used with
11an electronic voting system in a primary which is marked for candidates of more than
12one party invalidates all votes cast by the elector for candidates in the primary.
SB76, s. 8 13Section 8. Initial applicability.
SB76,6,1614 (1) The treatment of sections 6.22 (2) (b), 6.24 (4) (d) and 6.87 (2) (form) and (4)
15of the statutes first applies to absentee ballots distributed to electors for the 2004
16September primary election.
SB76,6,1717 (End)