ELECTION DATES AND NOTICES
Election notice form.
Type B notice content.
Newspaper selection and fees.
Basic election notices.
Combination of notices; cost.
SCHEDULE OF DATES
Election occurrences listing; explanation.
Election occurrences listing; fluctuations.
Legislative reference bureau to correct listings.
Government accountability board; spring primary and election.
County clerk; spring primary and election.
Municipal clerk and governing body; spring primary and election.
Candidates; spring primary and election.
Public and general provisions; spring primary and election.
Government accountability board; September primary and general election.
County clerk; September primary and general election.
Municipal clerk and governing body; September primary and general election.
Candidates; September primary and general election.
Public and general provisions; September primary and general election.
Special primary and election.
Ch. 10 Note
NOTE: 2005 Wis. Act 451
, which made major revisions to the election laws, including to Chapter 10, contains an extensive prefatory note explaining the changes.
Ch. 10 Cross-reference
See definitions in s. 5.02
Election notice form. 10.01(1)
The form of the various election notices shall be prescribed by the board to standardize election notices. To accomplish this purpose, the board shall make rules and draft whatever forms it considers necessary. Notification or certification lists of candidates or referenda questions sent to the county clerks shall prescribe the form in which the county clerks shall publish the relevant portions of the notice and any additional county offices and referenda questions. The board shall also prescribe the provisions for municipal notices which shall be sent to each county clerk who shall immediately forward them to each municipal clerk.
For election purposes there shall be 5 basic types of notices, modified as necessary to apply to the various elections, which shall be published in substantially the same form as prescribed by the board. The 5 types of notices are:
Type A — The type A notice shall be entitled "Notice of Election". The notice shall list the date of the election. For an election to fill any office, the notice shall list each office to be filled and the incumbent for each; the length of the term of each office and the expiration date of the term; and the beginning date for circulating, the place and deadline for filing declarations of candidacy and nomination papers, where required, for each office listed and the date of the primary election, if required. If a redistricting since the most recent election makes the description of the incumbent's office of limited usefulness, the notice may contain supplementary information describing the territory in which an election is to be held. For an election at which a referendum is held, the notice shall contain the text of the question and a statement specifying where a copy of the resolution directing submission of the question may be obtained. Whenever an election is noticed to be held within a district, the notice shall contain a statement specifying where information concerning district boundaries may be obtained. The type A notice shall be published once by the county clerk of each county for each national, state or county election, and once by the clerk of each municipality or special purpose district for each municipal or special purpose district election, at the times designated in s. 10.06
Type B — The type B notice shall include the relevant facsimile ballots and the relevant portions of voting instructions to electors under s. 10.02
for each office or referendum and shall specify the date of the election. In counties or municipalities where an electronic voting system in which ballots are distributed to electors is used, the notice shall include the information specified in s. 5.94
. The type B notice shall be published once by the county clerks, and for primaries and other elections in municipalities or special purpose districts, once by the clerk of the municipality or special purpose district on the day preceding each primary and other election.
Type C — The type C notice shall be entitled "Notice of Referendum". The notice shall be given whenever a referendum is held. The notice shall contain the date of the referendum, the entire text of the question and the proposed enactment, if any, as well as an explanatory statement of the effect of either a "yes" or "no" vote. For state questions, the statement shall be prepared by the attorney general. For county questions, the statement shall be prepared by the corporation counsel. For other questions, the statement shall be prepared by the attorney for the jurisdiction in which the question is submitted. County clerks and, for questions submitted by municipalities or special purpose districts, the clerk of the municipality or special purpose district shall publish the type C notice once at the same time that the type B notice is published. The type C notice shall be printed in the newspaper as close as possible to that portion of the type B notice showing the facsimile referendum ballot.
Type D — The type D notice shall state the hours the polls will be open and the polling places to be utilized at the election or shall include a concise statement of how polling place information may be obtained. In cities over 500,000 population, the board of election commissioners shall determine the form of the notice. In other municipalities and special purpose districts, the clerk of the municipality or special purpose district shall give the polling place information in the manner the governing body of the municipality or special purpose district decides will most effectively inform the electors. The type D notice shall be published by the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners of each municipality once on the day before each spring primary and election, each special national, state, county or municipal election at which the electors of that municipality are entitled to vote and each partisan primary and general election. The clerk of each special purpose district which calls a special election shall publish a type D notice on the day before the election, and the day before the special primary, if any, except as authorized in s. 8.55 (3)
Type E — The type E notice shall state the qualifications for absentee voting, the procedures for obtaining an absentee ballot in the case of registered and unregistered voters, the places and the deadlines for application and return of application, including any alternate site under s. 6.855
, and the office hours during which an elector may cast an absentee ballot in the municipal clerk's office or at an alternate site under s. 6.855
. The municipal clerk shall publish a type E notice on the 4th Tuesday preceding each spring primary and election, on the 4th Tuesday preceding each partisan primary and general election, on the 4th Tuesday preceding the primary for each special national, state, county or municipal election if any, on the 4th Tuesday preceding a special county or municipal referendum, and on the 3rd Tuesday preceding each special national, state, county or municipal election to fill an office which is not held concurrently with the spring or general election. The clerk of each special purpose district which calls a special election shall publish a type E notice on the 4th Tuesday preceding the primary for the special election, if any, on the 4th Tuesday preceding a special referendum, and on the 3rd Tuesday preceding a special election for an office which is not held concurrently with the spring or general election except as authorized in s. 8.55 (3)
Type B notice content. 10.02(1)
Before any election an appropriate type B notice shall be published in substantially the form prescribed by the board at the times prescribed in s. 10.06
. The type B notice shall include the following relevant sections and be within the guidelines established in this section.
The headline or caption, the introductory paragraph and the voting instructions shall be printed once at the beginning of the notice followed by a facsimile of each ballot to be used at the election. The headline or caption shall be conspicuously displayed, but the caption together with the necessary spacing above and below shall not exceed 1 1/4 inches in depth. The introductory paragraph and voting instructions shall be set solid in the type of the regular reading matter of the newspaper but no smaller than 5 1/2-point nor larger than 10-point type.
Following the introductory paragraph, but preceding the facsimile ballot notice, shall appear the statement of information to electors in the form prescribed in sub. (3)
The facsimile ballots shall follow the voting instructions. The size and style of type and the general display of the facsimile ballots shall be prescribed by the board and shall conform to the form prescribed by the board under s. 7.08 (1) (a)
. The party columns shall not exceed 2-1/6 inches in width and the ballot size may be reduced. Voting machine facsimile ballots shall show a reduced diagram of the front of the voting machine and instructions to electors on how to vote on the machine. If the ballots in the wards or election districts within a county or municipality are identical but for the names of different candidates, districts or seats, the facsimile ballot may show the ballot for one ward or election district, accompanied by a list of candidates, districts and seats to be voted upon in the other wards or election districts.
The notice shall contain the following:
FACSIMILE BALLOT NOTICE
OF .... ELECTION
Office of .... [County] [Municipal] Clerk.
To the Electors of .... [County] [Municipality]:
Notice is hereby given of a .... election to be held in the several wards in the [county] [municipality] of ...., on the .... day of ...., .... (year), at which the officers named below shall be chosen. The names of the candidates for each office to be voted for, whose nominations have been certified to or filed in this office, are given under the title of the office and under the appropriate party or other designation, each in its proper column, together with the questions submitted to a vote, in the sample ballot below.
INFORMATION TO ELECTORS
Except where a different statement is prescribed by the board for use in whole or in part by municipalities using electronic voting systems under s. 5.95
, the voting instructions shall be given substantially as follows:
Upon entering the polling place and before being permitted to vote, an elector shall state his or her name and address. If an elector is not registered to vote, an elector may register to vote at the polling place serving his or her residence if the elector presents proof of identification in a form specified by law unless the elector is exempted from this requirement, and, if the document presented does not constitute proof of residence, the elector provides proof of residence. Where ballots are distributed to electors, the initials of 2 inspectors must appear on the ballot. Upon being permitted to vote, the elector shall retire alone to a voting booth or machine and cast his or her ballot, except that an elector who is a parent or guardian may be accompanied by the elector's minor child or minor ward. An election official may inform the elector of the proper manner for casting a vote, but the official may not in any manner advise or indicate a particular voting choice.
The elector shall make a cross (7
) next to or separately depress the levers or buttons next to each candidate's name for whom he or she intends to vote, or shall insert or write in the name of a candidate.
At a partisan primary, the elector shall select the party ballot of his or her choice and shall make a cross (7
) next to or depress the lever or button next to the candidate's name for each office for whom the elector intends to vote, or shall insert or write in the name of the elector's choice for a candidate.