CHAPTER 8
NOMINATIONS, PRIMARIES, ELECTIONS
8.01   Method of nomination.
8.02   Nomination paper circulation date.
8.03   Multiple nominations.
8.04   Nomination paper signatures.
8.05   Nomination in towns and villages.
8.06   Special elections may be called.
8.07   Validity of nomination papers.
8.10   Nominations for spring election.
8.11   Spring primary.
8.12   Presidential preference vote.
8.125   Accessibility of presidential caucuses.
8.13   Commission city primary.
8.15   Nominations for partisan primary.
8.16   Partisan nominations.
8.17   Political party committees.
8.18   Nomination of presidential electors.
8.185   Write-in candidates for president and vice president.
8.19   Party name.
8.20   Nomination of independent candidates.
8.21   Declaration of candidacy.
8.25   Election of state and federal officers.
8.28   Challenge to residency qualifications.
8.30   Candidates ineligible for ballot placement.
8.35   Vacancies after nomination.
8.37   Filing of referenda petitions or questions.
8.40   Petition requirements.
8.50   Special elections.
8.55   Special referenda.
Ch. 8 Note NOTE: 2005 Wis. Act 451, which made major revisions to the election laws, including to Chapter 8, contains an extensive prefatory note explaining the changes.
Ch. 8 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See definitions in s. 5.02.
8.01 8.01 Method of nomination. Candidates for elective office shall be nominated according to this chapter.
8.02 8.02 Nomination paper circulation date. Whenever a specific date is not given to begin circulation of nomination papers, the first day for circulation shall be the first day of the month one month prior to the month in which the filing deadline is scheduled. Signatures shall not be counted if signed and dated prior to the first day for circulation.
8.02 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ss. EL 2.05 and 2.07, Wis. adm. code.
8.03 8.03 Multiple nominations.
8.03(1)(1)The name of any candidate who is nominated to the same office by more than one party or primary or nominated for more than one partisan or state nonpartisan office shall appear under the party first nominating him or her or under the office to which he or she was first nominated. If the double nomination is simultaneous, the candidate who is nominated, before the deadline for filing nomination papers shall file a written statement with the same person with whom he or she files nomination papers stating the person's party or office preference. If the candidate fails to select the party or office, the filing officer shall place the candidate's name on the ballot under either party or office, but may not permit it to appear more than once. If a candidate is nominated at a primary election for partisan office or nonpartisan state office on a ballot where his or her name appears or by nomination papers filed by the candidate, and is also nominated by write-in votes at the primary election to another office, or to the same office as the candidate of a different party, the candidate does not have a choice, but shall be placed on the ballot for the election under the office and party for which the candidate's name appeared on the primary ballot or for which the candidate had filed nomination papers.
8.03(2) (2)Subsection (1) shall not apply when a candidate for the office of president or vice president of the United States is nominated for another elective office during the same election. If the candidate is elected president or vice president of the United States such election shall void the candidate's election to any other office. A special election shall be held to fill any office vacated under this subsection.
8.03(2m) (2m)A candidate may appear on the ballot for more than one local nonpartisan office at the same election.
8.03(3) (3)This section does not affect the law of compatibility of offices.
8.03 History History: 1979 c. 260; 1989 a. 192; 1991 a. 316.
8.04 8.04 Nomination paper signatures. If any person signs nomination papers for 2 candidates for the same office in the same election at different times, the earlier signature is valid and the later signature is invalid. If any person circulates a nomination paper for 2 candidates for the same office in the same election at different times, the earlier paper is valid and the later paper is invalid.
8.04 History History: 1979 c. 260.
8.04 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ss. EL 2.05 and 2.07, Wis. adm. code.
8.05 8.05 Nomination in towns and villages. Every candidate for an elective office in a town or village shall be nominated under this section.
8.05(1) (1)Caucus.
8.05(1)(a) (a) When nomination papers are not used, there shall be a caucus to nominate candidates. The governing body shall between December 1 and January 1 decide the date of the caucus. The date of the caucus may be established between January 2 and January 21. When possible, preference should be given to having the caucus on January 21.
8.05(1)(b) (b) Whenever a caucus is held, the municipal clerk shall give notice of the date, time and place for the caucus by posting in the clerk's office and by one publication in a newspaper under ch. 985, at least 5 days before the date of the caucus.
8.05(1)(c) (c) The town chairperson or village president together with the municipal clerk shall serve as caucus officials. If the chairperson or president is a candidate, he or she shall call for the election of officials to conduct the caucus. The officials shall be elected by acclamation or ballot as the meeting directs. The electors attending the meeting shall select 2 tellers to canvass the vote for each office at the caucus.
8.05(1)(d) (d) Names of candidates shall be placed in nomination either by motion made and seconded from the floor or by writing the candidate's name on a slip of paper distributed by the tellers to those electors attending the caucus. Only persons placed in nomination shall be voted on.
8.05(1)(e) (e) Nominations shall be made for one office at a time. Nominations for the office of town supervisor when supervisors are elected to unnumbered seats and nominations for the office of village trustee shall be considered together, and each elector voting at the caucus may cast as many votes as there are seats to be filled at the election.
8.05(1)(f) (f) Before balloting the caucus chairperson shall announce the names of all candidates placed in nomination.
8.05(1)(g) (g) The voting for each office shall be by ballot, but the caucus chairperson may dispense with voting by ballot when only one or 2 persons are nominated for the same office.
8.05(1)(h) (h) The 2 candidates receiving the highest number of votes cast for each office shall be nominated and certified by the caucus chairperson and tellers to the municipal clerk. If a town under s. 5.60 (6) elects its supervisors to unnumbered seats, candidates equal to twice the number of positions to be filled, who receive the most votes, shall be nominated and certified.
8.05(1)(i) (i) Village trustees, excluding the office of village president, shall be nominated together and at large. Candidates, equal to twice the number of positions to be filled, who receive the most votes, shall be nominated and certified.
8.05(1)(j)1.1. The municipal clerk shall notify in writing each candidate whose name is certified as a nominee under par. (h) of his or her nomination. If a municipal judge is elected under s. 755.01 (4), the county clerk of the county having the largest portion of the population in the jurisdiction served by the judge shall make the notification.
8.05(1)(j)2. 2. Upon receipt of the notice, each candidate shall file a declaration of candidacy in the manner prescribed by s. 8.21 with the municipal clerk making the notification no later than 5 p.m. on the 5th day after the notification is mailed or personally delivered to the candidate by the municipal clerk, except as authorized in this paragraph. If an incumbent whose name is certified as a nominee fails to file a declaration of candidacy within the time prescribed by this paragraph, each certified candidate for the office held by the incumbent, other than the incumbent, may file a declaration of candidacy no later than 72 hours after the latest time prescribed in this paragraph. If the candidate has not filed a registration statement under s. 11.0202 (1) (a) at the time of the notification, the candidate shall file the statement with the declaration.
8.05(1)(j)3. 3. A candidate for municipal judge shall, in addition to making the filings required under subd. 2., file a statement of economic interests with the ethics commission under s. 19.43 (4) no later than 4:30 p.m. on the 5th day after notification of nomination is mailed or personally delivered to the candidate, or no later than 4:30 p.m. on the next business day after the last day for filing a declaration of candidacy whenever that candidate is granted an extension of time for filing a declaration of candidacy under subd. 2.
8.05(1)(j)4. 4. Upon receipt of the declaration of candidacy and registration statement of each qualified candidate, and upon filing of a statement of economic interests by each candidate for municipal judge, the municipal clerk, or the county clerk if the judge is elected under s. 755.01 (4), shall place the name of the candidate on the ballot. No later than the end of the 3rd day following qualification by all candidates, the municipal clerk, or the county clerk if the judge is elected under s. 755.01 (4), shall draw lots to determine the arrangement of candidates' names on the spring election ballot.
8.05(1)(k) (k) Within 10 days of the date of the original caucus, the town board chairperson or the village president may reconvene the caucus to correct any procedural error or to nominate a candidate for a position for which no candidate was nominated at the original caucus or for which no candidate nominated at the original caucus qualified. The municipal clerk shall give notice of the reconvened caucus as provided in par. (b).
8.05(3) (3)Town nonpartisan primary.
8.05(3)(a) (a) In lieu of sub. (1), the electors either by referendum or at the town meeting may provide for nomination of elective town office candidates at a nonpartisan primary conducted as provided in sub. (5). The nomination papers shall be signed by not less than 20 nor more than 100 electors of the town. The nomination papers shall be circulated not sooner than December 1 preceding the election and shall be filed with the town clerk not later than 5 p.m. the first Tuesday in January, or the next day if Tuesday is a holiday.
8.05(3)(b) (b) The town clerk shall give notice of the primary under s. 10.06 (3) (a).
8.05(3)(c) (c) When this subsection is used, no additional candidates may be nominated under sub. (1).
8.05(3)(d) (d) The question of adoption of the nonpartisan primary under this subsection may be submitted to the electors at any regular election held in the town or at a special election called for the purpose. When a petition requesting adoption of the nonpartisan primary conforming to the requirements of s. 8.40 signed by at least 20 electors of the town is filed with the town clerk as provided in s. 8.37, the question shall be submitted to a vote.
8.05(3)(e) (e) Petitions requesting a vote on the question at a regular town election shall be filed in accordance with s. 8.37 no later than 5 p.m. the last Tuesday in February. When the petition is filed, the clerk shall check its sufficiency. Whether at a regular or special election, the clerk shall give separate notice by one publication in a newspaper at least 5 days before the election.
8.05(3)(f) (f) The ballot used for the referendum question shall be arranged under s. 5.60 (7) and shall ask: “Shall all candidates in the town of .... for elective town offices be nominated at a nonpartisan primary?".
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 5 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on April 21, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after May 11, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 5-11-19)