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2013 - 2014 LEGISLATURE
September 10, 2013 - Introduced by Senators Grothman, Lazich, Vukmir and
Tiffany, cosponsored by Representatives Bernier, Stroebel, Bies, Kestell
and Pridemore. Referred to Elections and Urban Affairs.
SB297,1,6 1An Act to repeal 6.875 (1) (as), 6.875 (2) (a) and (b) and 6.875 (2) (d); to
2renumber
6.875 (1) (a) and 6.875 (2) (c); to renumber and amend 6.875 (1)
3(ap); to amend 6.87 (4) (b) 5., 6.875 (title), 6.875 (1) (asm), 6.875 (1) (at), 6.875
4(3) and (4) (a), 6.875 (4) (b), (6) (a), (b), (c) 1. and 2. and (e) and (7), 12.03 (2) (b)
53. and 12.13 (2) (b) 6m.; and to create 6.875 (1) (bm), 6.875 (1) (d) and 6.875 (4)
6(am) of the statutes; relating to: absentee voting at residential care facilities.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Currently, the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners of each
municipality is directed to dispatch two special voting deputies to conduct absentee
voting in person for each election at each nursing home located in the municipality
upon application for an absentee ballot by one or more qualified electors who are
occupants of the home. Participation in the special absentee voting is limited to
occupants of the home. The clerk or board may also dispatch special voting deputies
to any community-based residential facility, retirement home, adult family home,
or residential care apartment complex located in the municipality to conduct
absentee voting for occupants of the facility, home, or complex if the clerk or board
finds that a significant number of occupants of the facility, home, or complex may
need assistance in voting or meet certain other specified criteria upon application for
an absentee ballot by one or more qualified electors who are occupants of the facility,
home, or complex. This bill provides that the clerk or board of election commissioners

shall dispatch two special voting deputies to each community-based residential
facility, adult family home, and residential care apartment complex located in the
municipality to conduct absentee voting in person for occupants of the facility, home,
or complex at each election upon application by one or more qualified electors who
are occupants of the facility, home, or complex, except that the clerk or board need
not dispatch special voting deputies to visit any facility, home, or complex unless
there are at least five registered electors who are occupants of the facility, home, or
complex. The bill does not change current law as it relates to dispatching special
voting deputies to retirement homes.
Currently, a municipal clerk or board of election commissioners who dispatches
special voting deputies to a facility, home, or complex must post a notice of the visit
by the deputies at the facility, home, or complex at least 24 hours in advance of the
time of the visit. This bill requires this notice to be posted at the home or facility
where absentee voting is to be conducted at least five working days in advance of the
visit. The bill also directs each municipal clerk and board of election commissioners
to provide public notice of each visit by special voting deputies to a residential care
facility to a local news medium and to those news media that have filed a written
request to receive such notices at least five working days before each visit. In
addition, the bill requires the clerk or board to post the notice on the Internet. Under
the bill, a municipal clerk or board of election commissioners whose municipality
does not maintain an Internet site need not comply with the Internet posting
requirement.
For further information see the 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:
SB297,1 1Section 1. 6.87 (4) (b) 5. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB297,3,72 6.87 (4) (b) 5. Unless subd. 3. or 4. applies, if the absentee elector resides in a
3qualified retirement home, as defined in s. 6.875 (1) (at), a qualified
4community-based residential facility, as defined in s. 6.875 (1) (as), a residential care
5apartment complex that is certified or registered under s. 50.034 (1), or an adult
6family home that is certified under s. 50.032 or licensed under s. 50.033
or a
7residential care facility, as defined in s. 6.875 (1) (bm),
and the municipal clerk or
8board of election commissioners of the municipality where the complex, facility, or
9home is located does not send special voting deputies to visit the complex, facility, or

1home at the election under s. 6.875, the elector may, in lieu of providing proof of
2identification, submit with his or her absentee ballot a statement signed by the same
3individual who witnesses voting of the ballot that contains the certification of an
4authorized representative of the complex, facility , or home that the elector resides in
5the complex, facility, or home and the complex, facility, or home is certified or
6registered as required by law, that contains the name and address of the elector, and
7that verifies that the name and address are correct.
SB297,2 8Section 2. 6.875 (title) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB297,3,10 96.875 (title) Absentee voting in certain homes, residential care
10facilities
, and complexes retirement homes.
SB297,3 11Section 3. 6.875 (1) (a) of the statutes is renumbered 6.875 (1) (ae).
SB297,4 12Section 4. 6.875 (1) (ap) of the statutes is renumbered 6.875 (1) (ab) and
13amended to read:
SB297,3,1614 6.875 (1) (ab) "Qualified adult Adult family home" means a facility that is
15certified or licensed to operate as an adult family home under s. 50.032 or 50.033 that
16qualifies under sub. (2) (d) to utilize the procedures under this section
.
SB297,5 17Section 5. 6.875 (1) (as) of the statutes is repealed.
SB297,6 18Section 6. 6.875 (1) (asm) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB297,3,2219 6.875 (1) (asm) "Qualified residential Residential care apartment complex"
20means a facility that is certified or registered to operate as a residential care
21apartment complex under s. 50.034 (1) that qualifies under sub. (2) (d) to utilize the
22procedures under this section
.
SB297,7 23Section 7. 6.875 (1) (at) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB297,3,2524 6.875 (1) (at) "Qualified retirement home" means a retirement home that
25qualifies under sub. (2) (c) to utilize the procedures under this section.
SB297,8
1Section 8. 6.875 (1) (bm) of the statutes is created to read:
SB297,4,42 6.875 (1) (bm) "Residential care facility" means an adult family home,
3community-based residential facility, nursing home, or residential care apartment
4complex.
SB297,9 5Section 9. 6.875 (1) (d) of the statutes is created to read:
SB297,4,66 6.875 (1) (d) "Working day" has the meaning given in s. 227.01 (14).
SB297,10 7Section 10. 6.875 (2) (a) and (b) of the statutes are repealed.
SB297,11 8Section 11. 6.875 (2) (c) of the statutes is renumbered 6.875 (2).
SB297,12 9Section 12. 6.875 (2) (d) of the statutes is repealed.
SB297,13 10Section 13. 6.875 (3) and (4) (a) of the statutes are amended to read:
SB297,5,711 6.875 (3) An occupant of a nursing home or qualified retirement home,
12qualified community-based residential facility, qualified residential care apartment
13complex, or qualified adult family home or residential care facility who qualifies as
14an absent elector and desires to receive an absentee ballot shall make application
15under s. 6.86 (1), (2), or (2m) with the municipal clerk or board of election
16commissioners of the municipality in which the elector is a resident. The clerk or
17board of election commissioners of a municipality receiving an application from an
18elector who is an occupant of a nursing home or qualified retirement home, qualified
19community-based residential facility, qualified residential care apartment complex,
20or qualified adult family home or residential care facility located in a different
21municipality shall, as soon as possible, notify and send an absentee ballot for the
22elector to the clerk or board of election commissioners of the municipality in which
23the home, or facility, or complex is located. The clerk or board of election
24commissioners of a municipality receiving an application from an elector who is an
25occupant of a nursing home or qualified retirement home, qualified

1community-based residential facility, qualified
residential care apartment complex,
2or qualified adult family home
or residential care facility located in the municipality
3but who is a resident of a different municipality shall, as soon as possible, notify and
4request an absentee ballot from the clerk or board of election commissioners of the
5municipality in which the elector is a resident. The clerk or board of election
6commissioners shall make a record of all absentee ballots to be sent, delivered, and
7voted under this section.
SB297,6,4 8(4) (a) For the purpose of absentee voting in nursing homes, qualified
9retirement homes, qualified community-based residential facilities, qualified
10residential care apartment complexes, and qualified adult family homes and
11residential care facilities
, the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners of
12each municipality in which one or more nursing homes, qualified retirement homes,
13qualified community-based residential facilities, qualified residential care
14apartment complexes, or qualified adult family homes or residential care facilities
15are located shall appoint at least 2 special voting deputies for the municipality. Upon
16Except as provided in par. (am), upon application under s. 6.86 (1), (2), or (2m) by one
17or more qualified electors who are occupants of a home, or facility, or complex, the
18municipal clerk or board of election commissioners of the municipality in which the
19home, or facility, or complex is located shall dispatch 2 special voting deputies to visit
20the home, or facility, or complex for the purpose of supervising absentee voting
21procedure by occupants of the home, or facility, or complex. The clerk or board of
22election commissioners
shall maintain a list, available to the public upon request, of
23each home, or facility, or complex where an elector has requested an absentee ballot
24special voting deputies are dispatched. The list shall include the date and time the
25deputies intend to visit each home, or facility, or complex. The 2 deputies designated

1to visit each nursing home, qualified retirement home, qualified community-based
2residential facility, qualified residential care apartment complex, and qualified adult
3family home
and residential care facility shall be affiliated with different political
4parties whenever deputies representing different parties are available.
SB297,14 5Section 14. 6.875 (4) (am) of the statutes is created to read:
SB297,6,86 6.875 (4) (am) The municipal clerk or board of election commissioners need not
7dispatch special voting deputies to visit any residential care facility unless there are
8at least 5 registered electors who are occupants of the facility.
SB297,15 9Section 15. 6.875 (4) (b), (6) (a), (b), (c) 1. and 2. and (e) and (7) of the statutes
10are amended to read:
SB297,6,2211 6.875 (4) (b) Nominations for the special voting deputy positions described in
12par. (a) may be submitted by the 2 recognized political parties whose candidates for
13governor or president received the greatest numbers of votes in the municipality at
14the most recent general election. The deputies shall be specially appointed to carry
15out the duties under par. (a) for the period specified in s. 7.30 (6) (a). The clerk or
16board of election commissioners may revoke an appointment at any time. No
17individual who is employed or retained, or within the 2 years preceding appointment
18has been employed or retained, at a nursing home, qualified retirement home,
19qualified community-based residential facility, qualified residential care apartment

20complex, or qualified adult family home or residential care facility in the
21municipality, or any member of the individual's immediate family, as defined in s.
2219.42 (7), may be appointed to serve as a deputy.
SB297,7,17 23(6) (a) Special voting deputies in each municipality shall, not later than 5 p.m.
24on the Friday 6th working day preceding an election, arrange one or more convenient
25times with the administrator of each nursing home, qualified retirement home,

1qualified
community-based residential facility, qualified residential care apartment
2complex, and qualified adult family home
and residential care facility in the
3municipality from which one or more occupants have filed an application under s.
46.86 to conduct absentee voting for the election
that the deputies are scheduled to
5visit
. The time may be no earlier than the 4th Monday preceding the election and
6no later than 5 p.m. on the Monday preceding the election. The municipal clerk shall
7give notice of each visit by special voting deputies to a qualified retirement home or
8residential care facility in the same manner that notices of public meetings are
9provided by presiding officers under s. 19.84 (1) (b) at least 5 working days in advance
10of each visit, indicating the date and time of the visit.
The municipal clerk also shall
11post a notice at the home, or facility , or complex and on the Internet indicating the
12date and time that absentee voting will take place at that home, or facility, or
13complex
. The notice shall be posted as soon as practicable after arranging the visit
14but in no case less than 24 hours 5 working days before the visit. A municipal clerk
15whose municipality does not maintain an Internet site need not comply with the
16Internet posting requirement.
At the designated time, 2 deputies appointed under
17sub. (4) shall visit the home, or facility, or complex.
SB297,8,218 (b) The municipal clerk or executive director of the board of election
19commissioners shall issue a supply of absentee ballots to the deputies sufficient to
20provide for the number of valid applications for an absentee ballot received by the
21clerk, and a reasonable additional number of ballots. The deputies may exercise the
22authority granted to the chief inspector under s. 7.41 to regulate the conduct of
23observers. For purposes of the application of s. 7.41, the home, or facility, or complex
24shall be treated as a polling place. The municipal clerk or executive director shall

1keep a careful record of all ballots issued to the deputies and shall require the
2deputies to return every ballot issued to them.
SB297,8,223 (c) 1. Upon their visit to the home, or facility, or complex under par. (a), the
4deputies shall personally offer each elector who has filed a proper application for an
5absentee ballot the opportunity to cast his or her absentee ballot. In lieu of providing
6a copy of proof of identification under s. 6.87 (4) (b) 1. with his or her absentee ballot,
7the elector may submit with his or her ballot a statement signed by both deputies that
8contains the name and address of the elector and verifies that the name and address
9are correct. The deputies shall enclose the statement in the certificate envelope. If
10an elector presents proof of identification under s. 6.87 (4) (b) 1., the deputies shall
11make a copy of the document presented by the elector and shall enclose the copy in
12the certificate envelope. If an elector is present who has not filed a proper application
13for an absentee ballot, the 2 deputies may accept an application from the elector and
14shall issue a ballot to the elector if the elector is qualified, the elector presents proof
15of identification, whenever required, or submits a statement containing his or her
16name and address under this subdivision, and the application is proper. The
17deputies shall each witness the certification and may, upon request of the elector,
18assist the elector in marking the elector's ballot. All voting shall be conducted in the
19presence of the deputies. Upon request of the elector, a relative of the elector who
20is present in the room may assist the elector in marking the elector's ballot. No
21individual other than a deputy may witness the certification and no individual other
22than a deputy or relative of an elector may render voting assistance to the elector.
SB297,9,423 2. Upon the request of a relative of an occupant of a nursing home, qualified
24retirement home, qualified community-based residential facility, qualified
25residential care apartment complex, or qualified adult family home
or residential

1care facility
, the administrator of the home, or facility, or complex may notify the
2relative of the time or times at which special voting deputies will conduct absentee
3voting at the home, or facility, or complex and permit the relative to be present in the
4room where the voting is conducted.
SB297,9,95 (e) If a qualified elector is not able to cast his or her ballot on 2 separate visits
6by the deputies to the home, or facility, or complex, the deputies shall so inform the
7municipal clerk or executive director of the board of election commissioners, who may
8then send the ballot to the elector no later than 5 p.m. on the Friday preceding the
9election.
SB297,9,18 10(7) One observer from each of the 2 recognized political parties whose candidate
11for governor or president received the greatest number of votes in the municipality
12at the most recent general election may accompany the deputies to each home, or
13facility, or complex where absentee voting will take place under this section. The
14observers may observe the process of absentee ballot distribution in the common
15areas of the home, or facility, or complex. Each party wishing to have an observer
16present shall submit the name of the observer to the clerk or board of election
17commissioners no later than the close of business on the last business day prior to
18the visit.
SB297,16 19Section 16. 12.03 (2) (b) 3. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB297,9,2420 12.03 (2) (b) 3. No person may engage in electioneering within 100 feet of an
21entrance to or within a nursing home, qualified retirement home, qualified
22community-based residential facility, qualified residential care apartment complex,
23or qualified adult family home
or residential care facility while special voting
24deputies are present at the home or facility under s. 6.875 (6).
SB297,17 25Section 17. 12.13 (2) (b) 6m. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB297,10,4
112.13 (2) (b) 6m. Obtain an absentee ballot for voting in a nursing home or
2qualified retirement home, qualified community-based residential facility, qualified
3residential care apartment complex, or qualified adult family home
or residential
4care facility
under s. 6.875 (6) and fail to return the ballot to the issuing officer.
SB297,18 5Section 18. Initial applicability.
SB297,10,76 (1) This act first applies with respect to elections held at least 60 days after the
7effective date of this subsection.
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