2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
January 29, 2018 - Offered by Senator Craig.
SB524-SSA1,1,4 1An Act to renumber and amend 5.84 (1); to amend 6.21; and to create 5.84
2(1) (b), 5.91 (19) and subchapter VI of chapter 6 [precedes 6.981] of the statutes;
3relating to: using an electronic voting machine to cast a vote with an in-person
4absentee ballot and providing a criminal penalty.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB524-SSA1,1 5Section 1 . 5.84 (1) of the statutes is renumbered 5.84 (1) (a) and amended to
SB524-SSA1,2,147 5.84 (1) (a) Where Except as provided in par. (b), where any municipality
8employs an electronic voting system which utilizes automatic tabulating equipment,
9either at the polling place or at a central counting location, the municipal clerk shall,
10on any day not more than 10 days prior to the election day on which the equipment
11is to be utilized, have the equipment tested to ascertain that it will correctly count

1the votes cast for all offices and on all measures. Public notice of the time and place
2of the test shall be given by the clerk at least 48 hours prior to the test by publication
3of a class 1 notice under ch. 985 in one or more newspapers published within the
4municipality if a newspaper is published therein, otherwise in a newspaper of
5general circulation therein. The test shall be open to the public. The test shall be
6conducted by processing a preaudited group of ballots so marked as to record a
7predetermined number of valid votes for each candidate and on each referendum.
8The test shall include for each office one or more ballots which have votes in excess
9of the number allowed by law and, for a partisan primary election, one or more ballots
10which have votes cast for candidates of more than one recognized political party, in
11order to test the ability of the automatic tabulating equipment to reject such votes.
12If any error is detected, the municipal clerk shall ascertain the cause and correct the
13error. The clerk shall make an errorless count before the automatic tabulating
14equipment is approved by the clerk for use in the election.
SB524-SSA1,2 15Section 2 . 5.84 (1) (b) of the statutes is created to read:
SB524-SSA1,2,2016 5.84 (1) (b) For a municipality that authorizes the absentee voting efficiency
17option under subch. VI of ch. 6, the municipal clerk shall have the automatic
18tabulating equipment tested, as provided under par. (a), on any day not more than
1910 days prior to the first day on which such voting is available in the municipality
20pursuant to s. 6.981.
SB524-SSA1,3 21Section 3 . 5.91 (19) of the statutes is created to read:
SB524-SSA1,3,422 5.91 (19) For certifications made under this section on or after the effective date
23of this subsection .... [LRB inserts date], if the device consists of an electronic voting
24machine, it includes a report function that is capable of reporting write-in votes by
25scanning the ballots and electronically capturing the write-in votes. If a device

1certified before the effective date of this subsection .... [LRB inserts date], consists
2of an electronic voting machine with such a report function, an election official may
3use that function to count write-in votes, as provided in s. 7.50 (2) (d) to (j), after the
4commission has tested the function.
SB524-SSA1,4 5Section 4 . 6.21 of the statutes is amended to read:
SB524-SSA1,3,12 66.21 Deceased electors. When Except as provided in s. 6.982 (9), when by
7due proof it appears to the inspectors or, in municipalities where absentee ballots are
8canvassed under s. 7.52, when by due proof it appears to the board of absentee ballot
9canvassers that a person casting an absentee ballot at an election has died before the
10date of the election, the inspectors or board of absentee ballot canvassers shall return
11the ballot with defective ballots to the issuing official. The casting of the ballot of a
12deceased elector does not invalidate the election.
SB524-SSA1,5 13Section 5 . Subchapter VI of chapter 6 [precedes 6.981] of the statutes is
14created to read:
SB524-SSA1,3,1515 chapter 6
SB524-SSA1,3,1616 subchapter VI
SB524-SSA1,3,1717 absentee voting efficiency option
SB524-SSA1,4,7 186.981 Efficiency option. (1) (a) The municipal clerk shall complete the
19application as provided under s. 6.87 (1) and allow an elector to cast a ballot prior to
20election day by casting a ballot into an electronic voting system as provided under
21s. 6.80 at the municipal clerk's office, if the governing body of the municipality has
22enacted an ordinance or adopted a resolution to allow such voting and the
23commission has certified the municipality under s. 6.982 (9) (a) to conduct such
24voting. An elector may vote under this subchapter during the time prescribed for an
25application made in person pursuant to s. 6.86 (1) (b), but only after the municipality

1has completed a successful public test of the programmed media necessary to vote
2under this subchapter and the test occurs no more than 10 days prior to the use of
3the media for voting under this subchapter. A municipality shall specify the
4locations, dates, and hours for voting in the notice under s. 10.01 (2) (e). The
5municipal clerk, or his or her designee, shall send the notice to the 2 major political
6parties, as defined in s. 13.46 (5), on the same date as the notice is posted for the
7general public.
SB524-SSA1,4,138 (b) After the governing body of the municipality has enacted an ordinance or
9adopted a resolution to allow the voting procedure under par. (a), the municipality
10shall use that procedure for all subsequent elections until such time that the
11governing body enacts an ordinance or adopts a resolution repealing the use of the
12procedure. The municipal clerk or deputy municipal clerk shall supervise the voting
13procedure under par. (a).
SB524-SSA1,4,1914 (c) This subchapter does not preclude the clerk from using absentee envelopes
15when the clerk or the elector determines that such use is necessary. Voting as
16provided under this subchapter may occur simultaneously or in conjunction with
17making an application in person using absentee envelopes, but the periods for voting
18as provided under this subchapter and for making an application in person using
19absentee envelopes need not be the same.
SB524-SSA1,4,23 206.982 Administration. (1) (a) Votes cast under s. 6.981 may not be tabulated
21until the closing of the polls on election day, but the municipal clerk shall publish on
22the municipality's Internet site a daily tally of the total number of ballots cast under
23s. 6.981 in the municipality.
SB524-SSA1,5,224 (b) No person may act in any manner that would give him or her the ability to
25know or to provide information on the accumulating or final results from the ballots

1cast under s. 6.981 before the close of the polls on election day. A person who violates
2this paragraph is guilty of a Class I felony.
SB524-SSA1,5,53 (c) An elector who casts a ballot under s. 6.981 that is accepted by automatic
4tabulating equipment may not request that the ballot be returned to him or her as
5defective in order to cast a new ballot, as provided under s. 6.80 (2) (c).
SB524-SSA1,5,186 (d) The clerk or deputy clerk shall reconcile the ballots cast each day to ensure
7that the number of ballots cast equals the number issued. The reconciliation may
8include performing checks that do not involve examining the ballots cast, including
9checking data entry and verifying mathematical computations. If the clerk or deputy
10clerk is unable to reconcile the ballots, the incident log shall include the date and any
11other information necessary to clearly identify the reconciliation issue. The
12municipality shall post the daily reconciliation incident report on the municipality's
13Internet site at the close of each day during the period for voting under this
14subchapter. If the clerk or deputy clerk is unable to reconcile the ballots, the clerk
15or deputy clerk shall deliver all ballot bags of unreconciled ballots, along with the
16daily reconciliation incident reports, to the appropriate board of canvassers as
17provided under s. 7.53 and the board of canvassers shall complete the reconciliation
18using the methods provided under s. 7.51.
SB524-SSA1,6,11 19(2) At all times when the process for voting under this subchapter is in use the
20municipality shall have at least 2 individuals present, not including an elector. The
21tabulation equipment shall be in a location that is visible to the clerk or the clerk's
22designee and to at least one other person. Automatic tabulating equipment used for
23purposes of this subchapter shall be secured with a tamper-evident security seal and
24the clerk or the clerk's designee, in the presence of at least one witness, shall check
25the seals for tampering at the beginning and ending of each day designated for voting

1under s. 6.981. The areas where the programmed media and the ballots cast are
2housed shall be secured with tamper-evident security seals. At least 2 persons shall
3be present for any administrative process that requires access to a sealed area and
4the breaking of a tamper-evident security seal, including clearing a jammed ballot
5or emptying a full ballot bin. The clerk or clerk's designee shall daily document all
6checks and record any such activity and reason in which a seal is broken and replaced
7under this subsection. The clerk or clerk's designee shall obtain the signature of any
8witness who was present when any such activity is performed. When not in use the
9tabulation equipment and the cast ballots sealed inside tamper-evident security
10seal ballot bags shall be secured in a double-lock location such as a locked cabinet
11inside a locked office.
SB524-SSA1,6,22 12(3) For purposes of s. 6.981, the municipal clerk shall issue ballots using the
13voter registration and voter information systems established and maintained by the
14elections commission in the same manner that the systems are used to issue and
15track absentee ballots. The commission shall program the system so that ballots
16issued for purposes of this subchapter are tracked by creating a separate
17classification type in the statewide voter registration system to identify electors
18casting a ballot using the process under this subchapter. The commission shall work
19to upgrade the system to allow for the system to sequentially number absentee
20ballots, but municipalities may use the system to identify electors casting a ballot
21using the process under this subchapter regardless of whether such upgrade has
22been completed.
SB524-SSA1,7,2 23(4) (a) Except as provided in par. (b), an elector shall sign an absentee ballot
24certification request log for purposes of this subchapter. The municipal clerk shall
25have the elector provide an electronic or a handwritten signature, but if the clerk

1allows the use of electronic signatures, the clerk shall not generate a final absentee
2ballot log until after the last day designated for voting under s. 6.981.
SB524-SSA1,7,53 (b) The municipal clerk may have an elector sign an electronic poll book using
4an electronic signature as an alternative to signing an absentee ballot certification
5request log under par. (a).
SB524-SSA1,7,10 6(5) (a) Except as provided in par. (b), the municipal clerk shall seal together all
7ballots cast in the municipality under s. 6.981 each day in a numbered and
8tamper-evident security seal ballot bag and document all such action and numbers.
9All such ballot bags shall remain in the clerk's possession, sealed and secured by the
10municipal clerk, until such time that they are needed for audit, recount, or storage.
SB524-SSA1,7,1411 (b) If the municipal clerk is required to report vote totals by ward, but the votes
12in multiple wards are processed through a single memory device and tabulator, the
13clerk shall not sort the ballots into wards before placing them into the bag described
14under par. (a).
SB524-SSA1,7,21 15(6) Section 7.41, regarding the public's right to access the polling place; s. 6.82,
16regarding assisting electors; s. 5.25 (4) (a), regarding the availability of accessible
17systems; and s. 6.84 (1), regarding the privilege of absentee voting, apply to voting
18conducted under s. 6.981. The municipal clerk shall post at a conspicuous space near
19the tabulation equipment a notice, in 18 point type, warning the elector voting as
20provided under this subchapter that a ballot cast and accepted by the tabulation
21equipment may not be retrieved in order to spoil the ballot under s. 6.86 (5).
SB524-SSA1,8,2 22(7) If an elector makes a challenge for cause in person, as provided under s.
236.925, with regard to any person offering to vote under this subchapter, the clerk
24shall place the ballot in an absentee ballot envelope and send the envelope to the
25polling place to be challenged under s. 6.93. For purposes of making a challenge as

1described under this subsection, the elector requesting a ballot to whom the
2challenge applies shall state aloud his or her name and address.
SB524-SSA1,8,12 3(8) (a) The commission shall establish procedures for certifying municipalities
4to conduct voting under s. 6.981. The governing body of a municipality wishing to
5obtain certification under this paragraph shall send a plan for administering the
6process under this subchapter to the commission for review no later than 30 days
7prior to the first day on which the municipality would conduct voting under s. 6.981.
8The commission shall review the plan and give notice of approval or of changes
9needed to receive approval no later than 10 days after receiving the plan. The
10commission may send notice to the municipality by electronic mail. The commission
11shall certify a municipality to conduct voting under s. 6.981 if it determines that the
12municipality satisfies all of the following:
SB524-SSA1,8,1413 1. Its governing body has approved the use of voting under this subchapter, as
14provided under s. 6.981 (1) (a).
SB524-SSA1,8,1615 2. It is using equipment capable of capturing a digital image of both the front
16and back of the ballot.
SB524-SSA1,8,2117 3. It has Internet access at each location where voting will be conducted under
18this subchapter so that an absentee ballot may be issued to an elector using the
19statewide voter registration system immediately prior to the elector casting his or
20her ballot and so that the clerk or clerk's designee may add new or changed
21registration information prior to issuing an absentee ballot.
SB524-SSA1,8,2222 4. It is able to update its Internet site at the end of each day.
SB524-SSA1,8,2423 5. It is capable of adequately securing all equipment and ballots in a
24double-lock location.
16. Its plan for administering the process under this subchapter satisfies all
2other requirements set forth in this subchapter.
SB524-SSA1,9,63 (b) The commission shall establish procedures for the administration of this
4subchapter, including procedures to facilitate the secure transfer of memory devices
5from their use for voting under s. 6.981 to their use in tabulating the votes on election
SB524-SSA1,9,11 7(9) (a) If, prior to the close of the polls on election day, the municipal clerk is
8made aware that an elector who voted as provided under s. 6.981 has died, the clerk
9shall direct 2 election inspectors at the polling place or central count location, as
10applicable, to randomly pull a ballot from the ballot bag of the deceased elector's ward
11from the day on which the deceased elector cast his or her ballot.
SB524-SSA1,9,1712 (b) The tally for all ballots pulled under par. (a) shall be removed from the final
13tabulated results of the applicable reporting unit. All ballots pulled under par. (a)
14shall be placed in a separate sealed bag that is marked “Deceased Electors.” The
15inspectors shall make a notation on the election day inspectors statement incident
16log identifying the deceased electors and the ballot bag security seal number
17containing the ballots pulled under par. (a).