Challenge based on incompetency.
Challenged elector oath.
Voting procedure for challenged electors.
Voting procedure for electors voting pursuant to federal court order.
Voting procedure for electors presenting citation or notice in lieu of license or receipt.
Voting procedure for individuals not providing required proof of identification or residence.
Ch. 6 Note
NOTE: 2005 Wis. Act 451
, which made major revisions to the election laws, including to Chapter 6, contains an extensive prefatory note explaining the changes.
Ch. 6 Cross-reference
See definitions in s. 5.02
WHO MAY VOTE
Qualifications, general. 6.02(1)
Every U.S. citizen age 18 or older who has resided in an election district or ward for 28 consecutive days before any election where the citizen offers to vote is an eligible elector.
Any U.S. citizen age 18 or older who moves within this state later than 28 days before an election shall vote at his or her previous ward or election district if the person is otherwise qualified. If the elector can comply with the 28-day residence requirement at the new address and is otherwise qualified, he or she may vote in the new ward or election district.
An eligible elector and a qualified elector are identical. Ch. 6 applies to annexation referendum elector qualifications under s. 66.021 (6). Washington v. Altoona, 73 Wis. 2d 250
, 243 N.W.2d 404
Durational residence requirements. Clifford. 1973 WLR 914.
Disqualification of electors. 6.03(1)
The following persons shall not be allowed to vote in any election and any attempt to vote shall be rejected:
Any person who is incapable of understanding the objective of the elective process or who is under guardianship, unless the court has determined that the person is competent to exercise the right to vote.
Any person convicted of treason, felony or bribery, unless the person's right to vote is restored through a pardon or under s. 304.078 (3)
No person shall be allowed to vote in any election in which the person has made or become interested, directly or indirectly, in any bet or wager depending upon the result of the election.
No person may be denied the right to register to vote or the right to vote by reason that the person is alleged to be incapable of understanding the objective of the elective process unless the person has been adjudicated incompetent in this state. If a determination of incompetency of the person has already been made, or if a determination of limited incompetency has been made that does not include a specific finding that the subject is competent to exercise the right to vote, and a guardian has been appointed as a result of any such determination, then no determination of incapacity of understanding the objective of the elective process is required unless the guardianship is terminated or modified under s. 54.64
Disenfranchisement of felons does not deny them equal protection. Richardson v. Ramirez, 418 U.S. 24
Election day age determines elector's rights.
Any person who will be 18 years old on or before election day is entitled to vote if the person complies with this chapter.
Information for uniformed service members.
The commission is the agency designated by this state under 42 USC 1973ff-1
to provide information regarding voter registration and absentee balloting procedures to absent members of the uniformed services and overseas voters with respect to elections for national office.
Residence as a qualification for voting shall be governed by the following standards:
The residence of a person is the place where the person's habitation is fixed, without any present intent to move, and to which, when absent, the person intends to return.
When a married person's family resides at one place and that person's business is conducted at another place, the former place establishes the residence. If the family place is temporary or for transient purposes, it is not the residence.
When an elector moves his or her residence from one ward or municipality to another ward or municipality within the state at least 28 days before the election, the elector may vote in and be considered a resident of the new ward or municipality where residing upon registering at the proper polling place or other registration location in the new ward or municipality under s. 6.55 (2)
or 6.86 (3) (a) 2.
If the elector moves his or her residence later than 28 days before an election, the elector shall vote in the elector's former ward or municipality if otherwise qualified to vote there.
The residence of an unmarried person sleeping in one ward and boarding in another is the place where the person sleeps. The residence of an unmarried person in a transient vocation, a teacher or a student who boards at different places for part of the week, month, or year, if one of the places is the residence of the person's parents, is the place of the parents' residence unless through registration or similar act the person elects to establish a residence elsewhere. If the person has no parents and if the person has not registered elsewhere, the person's residence shall be at the place that the person considered his or her residence in preference to any other for at least 28 consecutive days before an election. If this place is within the municipality, the person is entitled to all the privileges and subject to all the duties of other citizens having their residence there, including voting.
A person shall not lose residence when the person leaves home and goes into another state or county, town, village or ward of this state for temporary purposes with an intent to return.
As prescribed by article III of the constitution
, no person loses residence in this state while absent from this state on business for the United States or this state; and no member of the armed forces of the United States gains a residence in this state because of being stationed within this state.
A guest at a national or a state soldiers' home in this state, a guest at a home for the aged supported by benevolence, or a patient of any county home or other charitable institution, resides in the municipality where the home is located and within the ward where the guest or patient sleeps, unless before becoming a guest or patient at the home the guest or patient elects to maintain his or her prior residence as his or her voting residence.
The residence of a person who is detained, or committed and institutionalized, under s. 51.20
, or 971.17
or ch. 980
shall be determined by applying the standards under sub. (1)
to whichever of the following dates is applicable to the circumstances of the person:
For a person detained or committed under s. 51.20
, the date that the person was detained under s. 51.20 (2)
or, if the person was not detained under s. 51.20 (2)
, the date that the person was committed under s. 51.20 (13)
For a person committed under s. 971.14
, the date of the offense or alleged offense that resulted in the person's commitment.
For a person detained or committed under ch. 980
, the date that the person committed the sexually violent offense that resulted in the sentence, placement, or commitment that was in effect when the state filed a petition under s. 980.02
against the person.
That the person's habitation was fixed at the place established under par. (a)
before he or she was detained or committed shall be considered prima facie evidence that the person intends to return to that place. The prima facie evidence of intent to return to the place determined under par. (a)
may be rebutted by presenting information that indicates that the person is not likely to return to that place if the person's detention or commitment is terminated.
No person gains a residence in any ward or election district of this state while there for temporary purposes only.
No person loses the right to vote at the person's place of residence while receiving public assistance or unemployment insurance even if the legal settlement for assistance is elsewhere.
If a person moves to another state with an intent to make a permanent residence there, or, if while there the person exercises the right to vote as a citizen of that state by voting, the person loses Wisconsin residence.
Neither an intent to acquire a new residence without removal, nor a removal without intent, shall affect residence.
Student status shall not be a consideration in determining residence for the purpose of establishing voter eligibility.
A military elector under s. 6.22 (1) (b)
who is the spouse or dependent of another military elector may elect to take as his or her residence either the individual's most recent residence in this state or the residence of the individual's spouse or the individual providing his or her support.
Voter residency and absentee voting is discussed. 60 Atty. Gen. 214.
Voting residency of family members of military personnel stationed in Wisconsin is discussed. 61 Atty. Gen. 269.
Upon marriage to a Wisconsin serviceman, a nonresident wife may take the Wisconsin voting residence of her husband. 61 Atty. Gen. 365.
New residents; presidential voting. 6.15(1)
Any person who was or who is an eligible elector under ss. 6.02
, except that he or she has been a resident of this state for less than 28 consecutive days prior to the date of the presidential election, is entitled to vote for the president and vice president but for no other offices. The fact that the person was not registered to vote in the state from which he or she moved does not prevent voting in this state if the elector is otherwise qualified.
(2) Procedure at clerk's office.
Any person qualifying under sub. (1)
need not register to vote, but shall apply for and cast his or her ballot as follows:
The elector's request for the application form may be made in person to the municipal clerk of the municipality where the person resides. Application may be made not sooner than 27 days nor later than 5 p.m. on the day before the election, or may be made at the proper polling place in the ward or election district in which 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 signed in the presence of the clerk or any officer authorized by law to administer oaths. The affidavit shall be in substantially the following form:
STATE OF WISCONSIN
County of ....
I, ...., do solemnly swear that I am a citizen of the United States; that prior to establishing Wisconsin residence, my legal residence was in the .... (town) (village) (city) of ...., state of ...., residing at .... (street address); that on the day of the next presidential election, I shall be at least 18 years of age and that I have been a legal resident of the state of Wisconsin since ...., .... (year), residing at .... (street address), in the [.... ward of the .... aldermanic district of] the (town) (village) (city) of ...., county of ....; that I have resided in the state less than 28 consecutive days, that I am qualified to vote for president and vice president at the election to be held November ...., .... (year), that I am not voting at any other place in this election and that I hereby make application for an official presidential ballot, in accordance with section 6.15 of the Wisconsin statutes.
P.O. Address ....
Subscribed and sworn to before me this .... day of ...., .... (year)
The clerk shall provide with the application form a card which the elector shall fill in and return with the application to the municipal clerk. The card shall state that the elector intends to vote for president and vice president in Wisconsin and that his or her voting privileges should be canceled at his or her previous residence. The card shall be in substantially the following form:
.... (Full Name - print or type)
It is my intent to vote for president and vice president in Wisconsin, under section 6.15, Wisconsin Statutes.
( ) I am not registered to vote at my previous address.
( ) I am registered to vote at my previous address and I hereby authorize the cancellation of my previous voting privileges at that address:
.... (Street), .... (Town, village, city), .... (State) .... (Zip)
Present Address ....
Except as authorized in s. 6.79 (7)
, when making application in person at the office of the municipal clerk, each applicant shall present proof of 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 clerk shall verify that the name on the proof of identification presented by the elector conforms to the name on the elector's application, shall verify that any photograph appearing on that document reasonably resembles the elector, and shall enter the type of identifying document submitted by the elector as proof of residence, the name of the entity or institution that issued the identifying document, and, if the identifying document includes a number that applies only to the individual holding that document, the last 4 digits of that number on the application form. If the number on the identifying document submitted by the elector has 6 or fewer digits, the clerk shall enter only the last 2 digits of that number.
The municipal clerk upon receipt of the application form and voting privileges cancellation card shall immediately forward the card to the proper official of the applicant's prior residence.
Upon proper completion of the application and cancellation card, the municipal clerk shall permit the elector to cast his or her ballot for president and vice president. The elector shall then mark the ballot in the clerk's presence in a manner that will not disclose his or her vote. The elector shall then fold the ballot so as to conceal his or her vote. The clerk or elector shall then place the ballot in an envelope furnished by the clerk.
The clerk shall enclose the envelope containing the ballot in a carrier envelope, securely seal it, and endorse it with his or her name, title and the words, "This envelope contains the vote for president and vice president of a new resident and shall be opened only at the polls during polling hours on election day". The clerk shall keep the envelope in his or her office until the clerk delivers it to the inspectors, as provided in sub. (4)
The clerk shall keep open to public inspection a list of all new residents who have voted under this section. The list shall give the name, address and application date of each elector.
(3) Procedure at polling place.
An eligible elector may appear at the polling place for the ward or election district where he or she resides and make application for a ballot under sub. (2)
. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, an elector who casts a ballot under this subsection shall follow the same procedure required for casting a ballot at the municipal clerk's office under sub. (2)
. The inspectors shall perform the duties of the municipal clerk, except that the inspectors shall return the cancellation card under sub. (2) (b)
to the municipal clerk 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 verification of the proof of identification and proof of residence, whenever required, as provided in sub. (2) (bm)
, the inspectors shall permit the elector to cast his or her ballot for president and vice president. The elector shall mark the ballot and, unless the ballot is utilized with an electronic voting system, the elector shall fold the ballot, and deposit the ballot into the ballot box or give it to the inspector. The inspector shall deposit it directly into the ballot box. Voting machines or ballots utilized with electronic voting systems may only be used by electors voting under this section if they permit voting for president and vice president only.
(4) Delivery and deposit of ballots. 6.15(4)(a)(a)
Clerks holding new resident ballots shall deliver them to the election inspectors in the proper ward or election district where the new residents reside or, in municipalities where absentee ballots are canvassed under s. 7.52
, to the municipal board of absentee ballot canvassers when it convenes under s. 7.52 (1)
, as provided by s. 6.88
for absentee ballots.
During polling hours, the inspectors shall open each carrier envelope, announce the elector's name, check the affidavit for proper execution, and check the voting qualifications for the ward, if any. In municipalities where absentee ballots are canvassed under s. 7.52
, the municipal board of absentee ballot canvassers shall perform this function at a meeting of the board of absentee ballot canvassers.
The inspectors or board of absentee ballot canvassers shall open the inner envelope without examination of the ballot other than is necessary to see that the issuing clerk has endorsed it.
Upon satisfactory completion of the procedure under pars. (b)
the inspectors or board of absentee ballot canvassers shall deposit the ballot in the ballot box. The inspectors or board of absentee ballot canvassers shall enter the name of each elector voting under this section on the poll list with an indication that the elector is voting under this section or on a separate list maintained for the purpose under s. 6.79 (2) (c)
If the person is not a qualified elector in the ward or municipality, or if the envelope is open or has been opened and resealed, the inspectors shall reject the vote. Rejected ballots shall be processed the same as rejected absentee ballots, under s. 6.88 (3) (b)
(5) Challenge of vote.
Any new resident's vote may be challenged for cause in the manner provided in ss. 6.92
(6) Death of elector.
When it appears by due proof to the inspectors or, in municipalities where absentee ballots are canvassed under s. 7.52
, when it appears by due proof to the board of absentee ballot canvassers that a person voting at an election has died before the date of the election, the inspectors or board of absentee ballot canvassers shall return the ballot with defective ballots to the issuing official.