Prescribe all official ballot forms necessary under chs. 5
and revise the official ballot forms to harmonize with legislation and the current official status of the political parties whenever necessary. The board shall provide one copy of each ballot form without charge to each county and municipal clerk and board of election commissioners. The board shall distribute or arrange for distribution of additional copies. The prescribed forms shall be substantially followed in all elections under chs. 5
Prescribe the necessary standard sample blanks and ballot containers to make the canvass, returns, statements and tally sheet statements for all elections the results of which are reportable to the board under s. 7.60 (4) (a)
, and all other materials as it deems necessary to conduct the elections. The sample blanks shall contain the necessary certificates of the inspectors and canvassers with notes explaining their use and statutory basis.
Promulgate rules for the administration of the statutory requirements for voting machines and electronic voting systems and any other voting apparatus which may be introduced in this state for use at elections. Pursuant to such responsibility, the board may obtain assistance from competent persons to check the machines, systems and apparatus and approve for use those types meeting the statutory requirements and shall establish reasonable compensation for persons performing duties under this paragraph.
As soon as possible after the closing date for filing nomination papers or after the canvass of the primary vote, but no later than the deadlines established in s. 10.06
, transmit to each county clerk a certified list of all candidates on file in its office for which electors in that county may vote. The list shall designate the order of arrangement and contain each candidate's first name, middle initial or initials and last name, unless the candidate on his or her nomination papers or declaration of candidacy specifies that the middle initial be deleted, that a full middle name or former legal surname be substituted for the middle initial, that an initial be substituted for the candidate's first name or that a nickname be substituted for a first or middle name or for a first initial or middle initial or initials, but no other abbreviations or titles are permitted. The list shall also include each candidate's residence and post-office address; the office for which the person is a candidate; and, the party or principle the candidate represents, if any, in 5 words or less. Names of candidates nominated under s. 7.38 (3)
shall be certified by the board upon filing of the necessary papers with it. At any time prior to an election, the board may transmit an amended certification if a candidate dies or is determined not to qualify for ballot placement.
The certified list of candidates for president and vice president nominated at a national convention by a party entitled to a September primary ballot or for whom electors have been nominated under s. 8.20
shall be sent as soon as possible after the closing date for filing nomination papers, but no later than the deadlines established in s. 10.06
As soon as possible after the canvass of the spring and September primary votes, but no later than the first Tuesday in March and the 4th Tuesday in September, transmit to the state treasurer a certified list of all eligible candidates for state office who have filed applications under s. 11.50 (2)
and whom the board determines to be eligible to receive payments from the Wisconsin election campaign fund. The list shall contain each candidate's name, the mailing address indicated upon the candidate's registration form, the office for which the individual is a candidate and the party or principle which he or she represents, if any.
As soon as possible after the canvass of a special primary, or the date that the primary would be held, if required, transmit to the state treasurer a certified list of all eligible candidates for state office who have filed applications under s. 11.50 (2)
and whom the board determines to be eligible to receive a grant from the Wisconsin election campaign fund prior to the election. The board shall also transmit a similar list of candidates, if any, who have filed applications under s. 11.50 (2)
and whom the board determines to be eligible to receive a grant under s. 11.50 (1) (a) 2.
after the special election. The list shall contain each candidate's name, the mailing address indicated upon the candidate's registration form, the office for which the individual is a candidate and the party or principle which he or she represents, if any.
(3) Election manual.
Prepare and publish separate from the election laws an election manual written so as to be easily understood by the general public explaining the duties of the election officials, together with notes and references to the statutes as the board considers advisable. The manual shall be furnished by the board free to each county and municipal clerk or board of election commissioners and others in such manner as it deems most likely to promote the public welfare. The election manual shall:
Be compiled by the board, with the advice of the elections advisory council.
Emphasize the fact that election officials should help, not hinder, electors in exercising their voting rights.
Be subject to periodic review and revision when necessary.
(4) Election laws.
Publish the election laws. The board shall furnish the election laws free to each county and municipal clerk and board of election commissioners in sufficient supply to provide one copy for reference at each office and at each polling place. The board shall sell or arrange for the sale of copies of the election laws to members of the public.
History: 1971 c. 242
; 1973 c. 334
; 1975 c. 85
; 1977 c. 29
; 1979 c. 89
; 1981 c. 377
; 1983 a. 51
; 1985 a. 120
; 1989 a. 192
; 1993 a. 140
; 1995 a. 16
Election supplies and ballots. 7.10(1)(a)(a)
Each county clerk shall provide ballots for every election in the county for all national, state and county offices, including metropolitan sewerage commission elections under s. 66.23 (11) (am)
, for municipal judges elected under s. 755.01 (4)
and for state and county referenda. The official and sample ballots shall be prepared in substantially the same form as those prescribed by the board under s. 7.08 (1) (a)
The county clerk shall supply sufficient poll list blanks for municipalities that do not have elector registration and other election supplies for national, state and county elections. The poll list blanks and other election supplies shall be enclosed in the sealed package containing the official ballots and delivered to the municipal clerk.
With county board approval any county clerk may purchase or print the official forms of nomination papers for distribution to any person at cost or free.
(2) Preparing ballots.
The county clerk shall prepare copy for the official ballots immediately upon receipt of the certified list of candidates' names from the board. Names certified by the board shall be arranged in the order certified. The county clerk shall place the names of all candidates filed in the clerk's office or certified to the clerk by the board on the proper ballots under the appropriate office and party titles.
The county clerk shall distribute the ballots to the municipal clerks no later than 31 days before each September primary and general election and no later than 22 days before each other primary and election. Election blanks prepared by the board shall be distributed at the same time. If the board transmits an amended certification under s. 7.08 (2) (a)
or if the board or a court orders a ballot error to be corrected under s. 5.06 (6)
or 5.72 (3)
after ballots have been distributed, the county clerk shall distribute corrected ballots to the municipal clerks as soon as possible.
The county clerk shall distribute an adequate supply of separately wrapped official ballots to each municipal clerk so the municipal clerk may supply ballots to absent elector applicants. The remaining ballots shall be sent in separately sealed packages clearly designating the ward for which each is intended and the approximate number of ballots of each kind enclosed.
(4) Resolving notice doubts.
When in doubt as to compliance with the statutory requirements for election notices or the correct fees to be paid for them, the county clerk may consult the board.
Menominee county; town elections.
The clerk shall prepare a ballot distinguishing between supervisors elected at large and by ward in any county having only one town with a part of the county board members elected by wards.
Municipal clerks. 7.15(1)(1)
Supervise registration and elections.
Each municipal clerk has charge and supervision of elections and registration in the municipality. The clerk shall perform the following duties and any others which may be necessary to properly conduct elections or registration:
Provide for the purchase and maintenance of election equipment.
Prepare ballots for municipal elections, and distribute ballots and provide other supplies for conducting all elections. The municipal clerk shall deliver poll list forms received from the county clerk to the polling places with the ballots before the polls open.
Prepare official absentee ballots for delivery to electors requesting them, and mail an official absentee ballot to each elector who has requested one no later than the 30th day before each September primary and general election and no later than the 21st day before each other primary and election if the request is made before that day; otherwise, the municipal clerk shall mail an official absentee ballot within one day of the time the elector's request is received.
Prepare write-in absentee ballots for delivery to military electors under s. 6.25 (2)
at each election, and prepare write-in absentee ballots for delivery to overseas electors under s. 6.25 (3)
at each election for national office, no later than the 90th day before the election, or as soon as possible after the offices to be contested at the election are known, whichever is later, and distribute the ballots to each military or overseas elector after ballots are available or within one day after a request is received, whichever is later, but beginning on the day that official absentee ballots become available, the clerk shall not mail write-in absentee ballots and shall substitute official absentee ballots for any write-in absentee ballots requested.
Prepare the necessary notices and publications in connection with the conduct of elections or registrations.
Instruct election officials in their duties, calling them together whenever advisable, advise them of changes in laws, rules and procedures affecting the performance of their duties, and administer examinations as authorized under s. 7.30 (2) (c)
. The clerk shall assure that officials who serve at polling places where an electronic voting system is used are familiar with the system and competent to instruct electors in its proper use. The clerk shall inspect systematically and thoroughly the conduct of elections in the municipality so that elections are honestly, efficiently and uniformly conducted.
Discharge election officials for improper conduct or wilful neglect of duties.
Report suspected election frauds, irregularities or violations of which the clerk has knowledge to the district attorney.
Review, examine and certify the sufficiency and validity of petitions and nomination papers.
Direct how and when to destroy the contents of the blank ballot boxes and unused election materials.
Send an absentee ballot automatically to each person making an authorized request therefor in accordance with s. 6.22 (4)
or 6.86 (2)
Reassign inspectors appointed to serve at one polling place to another polling place within the municipality whenever necessary to assure adequate staffing at all polling places. No such reassignment may have the effect of eliminating representation at a polling place by one of the political parties entitled to nominate inspectors under s. 7.30 (2) (a)
(2) Municipal election duties. 7.15(2)(a)(a)
In municipal elections, the municipal clerks shall perform the duties prescribed for county clerks by s. 7.10
Cities over 500,000 population may prepare their own official and sample ballots. Official ballots not utilized as absentee ballots shall be printed so they are ready at least 2 days before the election.
With the consent of the county clerk, municipalities may prepare their own ballots whenever voting machines or electronic voting systems are used in elections where candidates for both local offices and national, state or county offices appear on the ballot. This paragraph does not apply to cities under par. (b)
Whenever the governing body of any municipality submits any question to a vote of the electors or whenever a proper recall petition and certificate are filed under s. 9.10
, the municipal clerk shall issue a call for the election and prepare and distribute ballots as required in the authorization of submission or as provided in s. 9.10
. The date of the referendum shall be fixed by the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners unless otherwise provided by law or unless the governing body fixes a date. The ballot for any referendum shall conform to s. 5.64 (2)
. If there is already an official municipal referendum ballot for the election, the question may appear on the same ballot.
(3) Ballot supply; sample ballots. 7.15(3)(a)(a)
Where voting machines are used or where electronic voting systems are employed, the municipal clerk shall provide at least 2 duplicate sample ballots for each ward in diagram form showing the board or screen inside each voting machine or the front of each ballot as it will appear in the voting machines or booths on election day.
Sample ballots, voting machine ballots and ballot labels for electronic voting systems, whenever the labels are affixed to the voting devices, shall be furnished to the officials in the ward or election district at least one day before each election.
(4) Recording electors.
After each election where registration is used, the municipal clerk shall make a record of each elector who has voted at the election by stamping or writing the date of the election in the appropriate space on the original registration form of the elector. Municipalities employing data processing may, in lieu of this requirement, record voting information in such a manner that it is readily available for retrieval by computer.
(5) Record of ballots received.
Each municipal clerk shall keep a record of when and in what condition the packages containing the ballots were received from the county clerk. The municipal clerk shall deliver to the proper officials the unopened packages of ballots the day before the election.
The municipal clerk shall provide substitute paper ballots in substantially the form of the original ballots whenever the necessary original ballots are not delivered to the municipality, are destroyed, are lost or stolen after delivery, are not ready for distribution or the supply is exhausted during polling hours. The municipal clerk may also provide substitute paper ballots, together with ballot boxes and voting booths, whenever a voting machine or electronic voting system is rendered inoperable by a malfunction which occurs within 24 hours of the time set for opening of the polls. Paper ballots may be cast only in accordance with the procedures prescribed in ss. 6.80 (2)
and 7.37 (4)
Upon receiving the substitute paper ballots accompanied by a statement made under oath by the municipal clerk that the ballots have been prepared and furnished by the clerk to replace the original ballots which are not available, or to substitute for a voting machine or electronic voting system which has been rendered inoperable by a malfunction which occurred within 72 hours of the time set for opening of the polls, the election officials shall use the substitute ballots in the same manner as if they had been original ballots.
(7) Request canvass assistance.
The municipal clerk may request all election officials to assist the inspectors in canvassing the votes received at the respective polling places.
(8) Resolving notice doubts.
When in doubt as to compliance with the statutory requirements for election notices or the correct fees to be paid for them, the municipal clerk may consult the board.
Board of election commissioners. 7.20(1)
A municipal board of election commissioners and a county board of election commissioners shall be established in every city and county over 500,000 population.
Each board of election commissioners shall consist of 3 members, each member being chosen from lists of at least 3 names each, selected and approved by the county committee of the 2 political parties receiving the most votes for governor in the county in the case of the county board of election commissioners, and receiving the most votes for governor in the city in the case of the city board of election commissioners, in the last general election. The county executive, for the county board of election commissioners, shall select from the list 2 persons from the majority party and one person from the next highest party in the county. The mayor, for the city board of election commissioners, shall select from the list 2 persons from the majority party and one person from the next highest party in the city.
The persons chosen shall be qualified electors and residents of the state and county and, for the city board of election commissioners, of the city.
Before beginning their duties as election commissioners each appointee shall take and file the official oath.
Each board of election commissioners shall choose its own chairperson. An act of a majority of the board is an act of the board.
The election commissioners shall not hold any other public office and are ineligible for any appointive or elective public office, except the office of notary public, during their term.
The term of office shall be 4 years, and until successors have been commissioned and qualified, beginning on July 1 each year following a presidential election. Successors shall be appointed the same way.
Election commissioners, duties and regulations. 7.21(1)(1)
All powers and duties assigned to the municipal or county clerk or the municipal or county board of canvassers under chs. 5
shall be carried out by the municipal or county board of election commissioners or its executive director, unless specifically retained or assigned in this section or s. 7.22
The county board of election commissioners may hire an executive director who shall perform whatever duties the board assigns to him or her. The county board shall determine the salary of that executive director. Appointment and removal of that executive director shall be subject to civil service standards. An executive director of the city board of election commissioners shall be appointed under s. 66.146
The board of election commissioners is authorized to employ additional clerical assistants to carry out its necessary duties. The assistants' salaries shall be fixed by the governing body of the municipality or county.
The board of election commissioners may procure a seal to authenticate official papers and documents.
The city council and county board shall provide office space in the city hall and county courthouse, respectively, pay all the necessary expenses, cooperate with the board of election commissioners, provide storage space for the election equipment and supplies and assist with the moving and conducting of the elections as necessary.
Municipal board of election commissioners. 7.22(1)(1)
The common council shall determine the salaries of the election commissioners and shall include sufficient funds in its budget to allow the municipal board of election commissioners to fulfill its duties.
All expenses shall be paid upon order of the municipal board of election commissioners, signed by the chairperson and executive director and countersigned by the city comptroller. The orders, made payable to persons in whose favor issued, shall be the vouchers for the city treasurer for the payment of the orders.
The municipal board of election commissioners shall prepare and furnish copies of all registrations, books, maps, instructions and blanks pertaining to the rules for registration and conducting elections for the use and guidance of the election officials.
The municipal board of election commissioners shall compile and publish a biennial report, containing election statistics and returns of all primaries and elections held within their city and county. Copies of the same shall be distributed to persons in such quantities as the municipal board of election commissioners deems proper.
The chief of police shall station a police officer at polling places designated by the municipal board of election commissioners for each election.
Destruction of election materials. 7.23(1)
All materials and supplies associated with an election, except as provided in sub. (2)
, may be destroyed according to the following schedule:
Any unused materials after an election and the contents of the blank ballot box after a primary may be destroyed at a time and in a manner designated by the appropriate clerk.
Voting machine recorders essential for proper operation of voting machines may be cleared and reactivated 14 days after any primary and 21 days after any other election.
Registration cards which are canceled under s. 6.50 (7)
may be destroyed 4 years after cancellation.
Except as provided in s. 11.21 (11) (a)
, financial reports may be destroyed 6 years after the date of receipt. Financial registration statements may be destroyed 6 years after termination of registration.
Registration and poll lists created at a nonpartisan primary or election may be destroyed 2 years after the primary or election at which they were created and registration and poll lists created at a partisan primary or election may be destroyed 4 years after the primary or election at which they were created.