Under current law, any person who is a U.S. citizen, who is at least 18 years of
age, and who has resided in a ward or election district in this state for at least ten
days before the election at which the person is voting may vote in that ward or
election district at that election unless the person is disqualified from voting, in
certain cases specified by law, as the result of a felony conviction or an adjudication
of incompetency. With limited exceptions, a person must register before voting and
in certain cases must provide proof of residence. With certain limited exceptions,
before being permitted to vote at any polling place, an eligible elector currently must
provide his or her name and address. If the elector is not registered, the elector must
provide a specified form of proof of residence in order to register. If an elector is not
able to present any required proof of residence, as an alternative, current law
permits an elector's registration information to be corroborated by another qualified
elector who resides in the same municipality. In addition, an elector other than a
military elector or an overseas elector, as defined by federal law, who registers by
mail and who has not voted in an election in this state must provide one of the forms
of identification specified by federal law, or a copy thereof if voting by absentee ballot,
in order to be permitted to vote. Corroboration may not be substituted for this
identification requirement, but an elector who cannot provide the required
identification may cast a provisional ballot. The municipal clerk or board of election
commissioners must determine whether electors casting provisional ballots are
qualified to vote by 4 p.m. on the day after an election.
With certain limited exceptions, this bill requires each eligible elector who
attempts to register or to vote at the polls on election day to present "proof of
identification." Under the bill, "proof of identification" means an identification
document that contains the name of the individual to whom the document was
issued, which name conforms to the individual's voter registration, if the individual
is required to register to vote, and that contains a photograph of the individual,
except as otherwise permitted by the bill (see below). "Identification" means a) one
of the following documents issued to the individual that is unexpired or if expired has
expired after the date of the most recent general election: an operator's license issued
by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), an identification card issued
by DOT, an identification card issued by a U.S. uniformed service, or a U.S. passport;
b) a certificate of U.S. naturalization that was issued not earlier than two years
before the date of an election at which it is presented; c) an unexpired driving receipt
issued by DOT (see below); d) an unexpired identification card receipt issued by DOT;
or e) an identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in this state.
A person whose address is confidential as a result of domestic abuse, sexual assault,
or stalking or in certain cases a person who has been required by a law enforcement
officer to surrender his or her license (see below) is exempted from the requirement.
If a person has applied to DOT for a driver's license or identification card, the person
may also present the unexpired driving receipt or identification card receipt (DOT
receipt) that DOT issues to the person while the application is processed. Under the
bill, any person who applies for an absentee ballot, except a military or overseas
elector, as defined by federal law, or a person whose address is confidential as a result
of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking, must also provide proof of
identification or a copy thereof unless: 1) the person has already provided a copy of
his or her proof of identification in connection with an absentee ballot cast at a
previous election and has not changed his or her name or address since that election;
2) the person has been required by a law enforcement officer to surrender his or her
license (see below); 3) the person is indefinitely confined, in which case the person
may submit a statement signed by the person who witnesses his or her absentee
ballot verifying his or her identity; or 4) the person is an occupant of any nursing
home, or is an occupant of a community-based residential facility, retirement home,
adult family home, or residential care apartment complex where a municipality
sends special voting deputies, in which case the person may submit a statement
signed by the deputies verifying his or her identity. The bill continues current
requirements for certain electors to provide proof of residence in order to register or
to vote, but discontinues the use of corroborating electors to verify residence. Under
the bill, if a person who votes at a polling place fails to provide proof of identification,
the person may vote provisionally. If a person votes by absentee ballot and fails to
provide proof of identification or a copy thereof, unless exempted from the
requirement, the ballot is treated as a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot is
marked by the poll workers, who immediately contact the municipal clerk or board
of election commissioners. The person may then provide the required proof of
identification either at the polling place before the closing hour or at the office of the
clerk or board. If the person does not provide the required identification to the clerk
or board by 4 p.m. on the Friday following the election, the person's vote is not
counted. If a person receives a citation from a law enforcement officer in any
jurisdiction that is dated within 60 days of the date of an election and is required to
surrender his or her Wisconsin driver's license at the time the citation is issued, the
elector may present an original copy of the citation or notice of intent to revoke or
suspend the elector's driver's license in lieu of his or her driver's license or, if the
elector is voting an absentee ballot by mail, may enclose a copy of the citation or
notice in lieu of a copy of his or her driver's license. In this case, the bill provides that
the elector's ballot is received and counted if otherwise valid, but the ballot is marked
so it can be identified during the canvassing and recount process if the validity of the
ballot is questioned.
The bill also directs the Government Accountability Board, in conjunction with
the first regularly scheduled primary and election at which the voter identification
requirements created by the bill initially apply, to conduct a public informational
campaign for the purpose of informing prospective voters of the voter identification
requirements created by the bill. In addition, the bill directs the board to conduct
an ongoing outreach effort to identify and contact groups of electors who may need
assistance in obtaining or renewing documents that constitute proof of identification
for voting purposes and to provide assistance in obtaining or renewing those
The voting identification requirement under the bill initially applies to voting
at the 2012 spring primary. The bill also provides that an elector who votes at a
polling place at an election held after the bill becomes law but before the date of the
2012 spring primary shall be requested to present proof of identification but if the
elector fails to do so, his or her ballot will still be counted if the elector is otherwise
qualified. The bill directs election officials to provide information to electors who do
not present proof of identification at elections held prior to the date of the 2012 spring
primary so that the electors will be prepared to provide proof of identification at
Issuance of operator's licenses and identification cards
This bill also permits an elector who is eligible to obtain a Wisconsin
identification card to obtain the card from DOT free of charge if the elector is a U.S.
citizen who will be at least 18 years of age on the date of the next election and the
elector requests that the card be provided without charge for purposes of voting.
Under 2007 Wisconsin Act 20
(the biennial budget act), certain provisions
specified in the federal REAL ID Act are incorporated into state law when DOT
provides notice that it is ready to implement the federal REAL ID Act. Among these
provisions is the requirement that DOT follow certain procedures in processing
applications for driver's licenses and identification cards and that each driver's
license and identification card include a photograph.
This bill allows DOT, upon the implementation of the federal REAL ID Act in
Wisconsin, to process applications for driver's licenses and identification cards in a
manner other than that required by REAL ID if the driver's licenses and
identification cards are marked to indicate that they are not REAL ID compliant and
DOT processes the applications in compliance with DOT practices and procedures
applicable immediately prior to implementation of REAL ID. An applicant for a
REAL ID noncompliant driver's license or identification card will still be required to
provide to DOT: 1) an identification document that includes either the applicant's
photograph or both the applicant's full legal name and date of birth; 2)
documentation showing the applicant's date of birth, which may be the same as item
1); 3) proof of the applicant's social security number or verification that the applicant
is not eligible for a social security number; 4) documentation showing the applicant's
name and address of principal residence; and 5) documentary proof that the
applicant is a U.S. citizen or is otherwise lawfully present in the United States.
However, in processing an application for a REAL ID noncompliant driver's license
or identification card, DOT is not required to meet the standards for document
retention and verification that are imposed for REAL ID compliant products.
Current law provides for limited exceptions allowing DOT to issue a driver's
license that does not contain a photograph of the license holder, including, by DOT
rule, a religious belief exception. There are no similar photograph exceptions under
current law for identification cards. Under current law, after the implementation of
REAL ID, all REAL ID compliant driver's licenses and identification cards must
contain a photograph.
Under this bill, until the implementation of the federal REAL ID Act, the
photograph exception for driver's licenses continues and a new religious belief
photograph exception is created for identification cards. After the implementation
of REAL ID, this bill creates a religious belief photograph exception for REAL ID
noncompliant driver's licenses and identification cards.
Absentee voting in residential care apartment complexes and adult family
Currently, municipalities must send two special voting deputies (one
designated by each major political party if the party wishes) to conduct absentee
voting in nursing homes. Municipalities may also send the deputies to conduct
absentee voting in community-based residential facilities and retirement homes
that qualify for the service in accordance with standards prescribed by law. This bill
permits municipal clerks and boards of election commissioners to send two special
voting deputies to conduct absentee voting in adult family homes and residential
care apartment complexes that qualify for the service in accordance with similar
standards prescribed by law.
Currently, with limited exceptions, an elector must be registered in order to
vote in an election in this state. In order to register, an elector must provide certain
information on a registration form and affirm the correctness of the information with
his or her signature. If an elector is unable, due to physical disability, to sign his or
her registration form, the elector may have another person sign on his or her behalf.
An elector who has not previously registered may register at the polling place serving
his or her residence on election day. Currently, when appearing to vote, an elector
must provide his or her name and address to the election officials and in some cases
must also provide proof of residence. Currently, an absentee elector may vote by mail
or at the office of the municipal clerk of the municipality where he or she resides. The
names of registered electors are checked against a poll list consisting of the names
of registered electors and the names of other electors are entered on a separate list.
Signature requirement for electors voting in person
This bill provides, with limited exceptions, that an elector must also enter his
or her signature on the poll list or other separate list when voting at a polling place
at an election. Under the bill, the election officials must require each elector to enter
his or her signature on the poll list or other separate list before being permitted to
vote. If an elector registers at a polling place on election day, the officials must
require the elector to enter the elector's signature on a separate list. The bill also
provides that if an elector, due to physical disability, authorized another elector to
sign his or her registration form on his or her behalf, the elector is exempt from the
signature requirement. In addition, if an elector signed his or her registration form
but claims to be unable, due to physical disability, to enter his or her signature on the
poll list or other separate list when voting at a particular election, the bill permits
the election officials to waive the signature requirement if they find that, due to
physical disability, the elector is unable to enter his or her signature. Under the bill,
the signature requirement initially applies beginning with elections held on and
after the day the bill becomes law.
Durational residency requirement for voting
Under current law, with certain limited exceptions, an individual must be a
resident of this state and of the municipality and ward, if any, where the elector is
voting for ten days before an election to be eligible to vote in the election. This bill
increases this durational residency requirement to 28 consecutive days. Under the
bill, if an elector who does not meet this residency requirement formerly resided at
another location in this state within the 27-day period preceding an election, the
elector may vote at that location if the elector is otherwise qualified to vote at that
location. Under the bill, the residency requirement initially applies beginning with
the 2012 spring primary.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
"Identification" means any of the following documents issued to an 2
(a) One of the following documents that is unexpired or if expired has expired 4
after the date of the most recent general election:
1. An operator's license issued under ch. 343.
2. An identification card issued under s. 343.50.
3. An identification card issued by a U.S. uniformed service.
4. A U.S. passport.
(b) A certificate of U.S. naturalization that was issued not earlier than 2 years 10
before the date of an election at which it is presented.
(c) An unexpired driving receipt under s. 343.11.
(d) An unexpired identification card receipt issued under s. 343.50.
(e) An identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in this 14
"Proof of identification" means identification that contains the name 17
of the individual to whom the document was issued, which name conforms to the 18
individual's voter registration form, if the individual is required to register to vote, 19
and that contains a photograph of the individual, except as authorized in s. 343.14 20
(3m) or 343.50 (4g).
(a) 2. A copy of the election fraud laws provided in s. 12.13 (1) and (3) 23
(intro), (d), (f), (g), (k), (L), (o), (q), (r), (u), (v)
and (x), together with the applicable 24
penalties provided in s. 12.60 (1).
(a) 4a. Instructions prescribed by the board for electors for whom proof
2of identification is required under s. 6.79 (2) or for whom
proof of residence under s. 3
6.34 is required under s. 6.55 (2).
Every U.S. citizen age 18 or older who has resided in an election district 6
or ward for 10 28 consecutive
days before any election where the citizen offers to vote 7
is an eligible elector.
Any U.S. citizen age 18 or older who moves within this state later than 1010 28
days before an election shall vote at his or her previous ward or election district 11
if the person is otherwise qualified. If the elector can comply with the 10-day 28-day 12
residence requirement at the new address and is otherwise qualified, he or she may 13
vote in the new ward or election district.
When an elector moves from one ward to another or his or her residence 16
from one ward or
municipality to another ward or municipality
within the state after
17the last registration day but
at least 10 28
days before the election, the elector may 18
vote in and be considered a resident of the new ward or municipality where residing 19
upon transferring registration under s. 6.40 (1) or upon registering at the proper 20
polling place or other registration location in the new ward or municipality under s. 21
6.55 (2) or 6.86 (3) (a) 2. If the elector moves within 10 his or her residence later than
days of before
an election, the elector shall vote in the elector's old former
or municipality if otherwise qualified to vote there.
The residence of an unmarried person sleeping in one ward and 2
boarding in another is the place where the person sleeps. The residence of an 3
unmarried person in a transient vocation, a teacher or a student who boards at 4
different places for part of the week, month,
or year, if one of the places is the 5
residence of the person's parents, is the place of the parents' residence unless through 6
registration or similar act the person elects to establish a residence elsewhere. If the 7
person has no parents and if the person has not registered elsewhere, the person's 8
residence shall be at the place which that
the person considered his or her residence 9
in preference to any other for at least 10 28 consecutive
days before an election. If 10
this place is within the municipality, the person is entitled to all the privileges and 11
subject to all the duties of other citizens having their residence there, including 12
6.15 (1) Qualifications.
Any person who was or who is a qualified an eligible 15
elector under ss. 6.02 and 6.03, except that he or she has been a resident of this state 16
for less than 10 28 consecutive
days prior to the date of the presidential election, is 17
entitled to vote for the president and vice president but for no other offices. The fact 18
that the person was not registered to vote in the state from which he or she moved 19
does not prevent voting in this state if the elector is otherwise qualified.
(a) The elector's request for the application form may be made in person 22
to the municipal clerk of the municipality where the person resides. Application may 23
be made not sooner than 9 27
days nor later than 5 p.m. on the day before the election, 24
or may be made at the proper polling place in the ward or election district in which 25
the elector resides. If an elector makes application before election day, the
application form shall be returned to the municipal clerk after the affidavit has been 2
signed in the presence of the clerk or any officer authorized by law to administer 3
oaths. The affidavit shall be in substantially the following form:
STATE OF WISCONSIN
I, ...., do solemnly swear that I am a citizen of the United States; that prior to 7
establishing Wisconsin residence, my legal residence was in the .... (town) (village) 8
(city) of ...., state of ...., residing at .... (street address); that on the day of the next 9
presidential election, I shall be at least 18 years of age and that I have been a legal 10
resident of the state of Wisconsin since ...., .... (year), residing at .... (street address), 11
in the [.... ward of the .... aldermanic district of] the (town) (village) (city) of ...., county 12
of ....; that I have resided in the state less than 10
days, that I am 13
qualified to vote for president and vice president at the election to be held November 14
...., .... (year), that I am not voting at any other place in this election and that I hereby 15
make application for an official presidential ballot, in accordance with section 6.15 16
of the Wisconsin statutes.
P.O. Address ....
Subscribed and sworn to before me this .... day of ...., .... (year)
(bm) Except as authorized in s. 6.79 (7), when making application in 24
person at the office of the municipal clerk, each applicant shall present proof of 25
identification. If any document presented by the applicant is not proof of residence
under s. 6.34, the applicant shall also present proof of residence under s. 6.34. The 2
clerk shall verify that the name on the proof of identification presented by the elector 3
conforms to the name on the elector's application and shall verify that any 4
photograph appearing on that document reasonably resembles the elector.
(d) 1r. Upon proper completion of the application and cancellation card, 7
the municipal clerk shall require the elector to provide proof of residence under s.
86.34. If the elector cannot provide proof of residence, the elector may have his or her
9residence corroborated in a statement that is signed by another elector of the
10municipality and that contains the current street address of the corroborating
11elector. If the residence is corroborated by another elector, that elector shall then
12provide proof of residence under s. 6.34 permit the elector to cast his or her ballot for
13president and vice president
. The elector shall then mark the ballot in the clerk's 14
presence in a manner that will not disclose his or her vote. The elector shall then fold 15
the ballot so as to conceal his or her vote. The clerk or elector shall then place the 16
ballot in an envelope furnished by the clerk.
6.15 (3) Procedure at polling place.
An eligible elector may appear at the 19
polling place for the ward or election district where he or she resides and make 20
application for a ballot under sub. (2). Except as otherwise provided in this 21
subsection, an elector who casts a ballot under this subsection shall follow the same 22
procedure required for casting a ballot at the municipal clerk's office under sub. (2). 23
The inspectors shall perform the duties of the municipal clerk, except that the 24
inspectors shall return the cancellation card under sub. (2) (b) to the municipal clerk 25
and the clerk shall forward the card as provided in sub. (2) (c) if required. Upon
proper completion of the application and cancellation card and submittal of proof of
2residence under s. 6.34 or providing corroboration of residence
verification of the
3proof of identification and proof of residence, whenever required, as provided in sub.
, the inspectors shall permit the elector to cast his or her ballot for president 5
and vice president. The elector shall mark the ballot and, unless the ballot is utilized 6
with an electronic voting system, the elector shall fold the ballot, and deposit the 7
ballot into the ballot box or give it to the inspector. The inspector shall deposit it 8
directly into the ballot box. Voting machines or ballots utilized with electronic voting 9
systems may only be used by electors voting under this section if they permit voting 10
for president and vice president only.
126.18 Former residents.
If ineligible to qualify as an elector in the state to 13
which the elector has moved, any former qualified Wisconsin elector may vote an 14
absentee ballot in the ward of the elector's prior residence in any presidential election 15
occurring within 24 months after leaving Wisconsin by requesting an application 16
form and returning it, properly executed, to the municipal clerk of the elector's prior 17
Wisconsin residence. When requesting an application form for an absentee ballot, 18
the applicant shall specify the applicant's eligibility for only the presidential ballot. 19Unless application is made under s. 6.86 (1) (ac), or the applicant is exempted from
20providing proof of identification under s. 6.87 (4) (b) 2. or 3., or the applicant is a
21military or overseas elector, the elector shall enclose a copy of his or her proof of
22identification or any authorized substitute document with his or her application.
23The municipal clerk shall verify that the name on the proof of identification conforms
24to the name on the application. The clerk shall not issue a ballot to an elector who
25is required to enclose a copy of proof of identification or an authorized substitute
1document with his or her application unless the copy is enclosed and the proof is
2verified by the clerk.
The application form shall require the following information 3
and be in substantially the following form:
This form shall be returned to the municipal clerk's office. Application must be 5
received in sufficient time for ballots to be mailed and returned prior to any 6
presidential election at which applicant wishes to vote. Complete all statements in 7
APPLICATION FOR PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTOR'S ABSENTEE BALLOT.
(To be voted at the Presidential Election
on November ...., .... (year)
I, .... hereby swear or affirm that I am a citizen of the United States, formerly 13
residing at .... in the .... ward .... aldermanic district (city, town, village) of ...., County 14
of .... for 10 28 consecutive
days prior to leaving the State of Wisconsin. I, .... do 15
solemnly swear or affirm that I do not qualify to register or vote under the laws of 16
the State of ....(State you now reside in) where I am presently residing. A citizen must 17
be a resident of: State ....(Insert time) County ....(Insert time) City, Town or Village 18
....(Insert time), in order to be eligible to register or vote therein. I further swear or 19
affirm that my legal residence was established in the State of ....(the State where you 20
now reside) on .... Month .... Day .... Year.
Address ....(Present address)
Subscribed and sworn to before me this .... day of .... .... (year)
....(Notary Public, or other officer authorized to administer oaths.)
My Commission expires
CITY .... STATE .... ZIP CODE ....
7Penalties for Violations.
Whoever swears falsely to any absent elector affidavit 8
under this section may be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 9
6 months or both. Whoever intentionally votes more than once in an election may 10
be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 3 years and 6 months 11
6.22 (7) Extension of privilege.
This section applies to all military electors for 1610 28
days after the date of discharge from a uniformed service or termination of 17
services or employment of individuals specified in sub. (1) (b) 1. to 4.
No names may be added to a registration list for any election after the 20
close of registration, except as authorized under this section or s. 6.55 (2) or 6.86 (3) 21
(a) 2. Any person whose name is not on the registration list but who is otherwise a 22
qualified elector is entitled to vote at the election upon compliance with this section,
23if the person complies with all other requirements for voting at the polling place