2013 - 2014 LEGISLATURE
March 25, 2014 - Introduced by Representatives Pasch, Goyke, Young, Barnes,
Sargent, Ohnstad, Hebl, C. Taylor, Kessler, Zamarripa and Berceau,
cosponsored by Senators Harris, Carpenter and Miller. Referred to
Committee on Criminal Justice.
1An Act to repeal
6.29 (2) (am), 6.55 (2) (cs), 6.55 (3) (b), 6.56 (3m), 6.79 (2) (dm), 2
6.88 (3) (c), 301.03 (20m), 302.117, 304.078 (1) and 973.09 (4m); to renumber
6.55 (3) (a); to renumber and amend
6.03 (1) (b) and 304.078 (3); to amend
6.33 (1), 6.33 (2) (a), 6.36 (1) (a), 7.52 (6), 301.03 (3a) (intro.), 304.078 (2) and 5
973.176 (2); and to create
6.03 (1) (b) 1., 2., 3. and 4. of the statutes; relating
6to: restoring the right to vote to certain persons barred from voting as a result
7of a felony conviction, changing the information required on voter registration
8forms, and changing voting procedure for certain persons who are convicted of
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, when a person is barred from voting as the result of a felony
conviction (a "disqualifying offense"), the person's right to vote may be restored
through a pardon. Otherwise, it is restored when the person completes his or her
sentence, including extended supervision or parole, or any term of probation
Under this bill, a person loses his or her right to vote based on a disqualifying
offense only while he or she is incarcerated for that offense. A person released to
extended supervision or parole may resume voting. In addition, a person convicted
of a disqualifying offense and on probation retains the right to vote while on
probation unless he or she is confined as a condition of probation. But if a person who
committed a disqualifying offense is returned to prison after the revocation of
extended supervision or parole or is sent to prison or a jail or house of correction after
the revocation of probation, the person loses the right to vote until he or she is
Currently, an applicant for voter registration must affirm: 1) whether he or she
has been convicted of a felony for which he or she has not been pardoned and, if so,
whether the applicant is incarcerated or on parole, probation, or extended
supervision; and 2) whether the applicant is disqualified on any other ground from
voting. This bill deletes the requirement that an applicant provide any information
relating to a felony conviction but retains the requirement that an applicant affirm
that he or she is not disqualified on any ground from voting.
Currently, election officials are required to verify the eligibility of electors who
vote at an election or who register to vote at an election after the close of voter
registration for that election by checking each elector's name against a list provided
by the Department of Corrections (DOC) that contains the names of convicted felons
who have not completed their sentences and have not been pardoned. If a person's
name appears on the list, the election officials are directed to allow the person to vote
if he or she is otherwise eligible, but to mark and challenge the elector's ballot for
possible later review. This bill deletes the requirements for DOC to provide the list
of convicted felons and for election officials to review the names on the list.
The bill also requires DOC, the Government Accountability Board, and the
Director of State Courts to include in their ongoing training programs a discussion
of the changes in law made by this bill and to offer the training to judges, attorneys,
election officials, employees of DOC, and the public.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
6.03 (1) (b) of the statutes is renumbered 6.03 (1) (b) (intro.) and 2
amended to read:
(b) (intro.) Any person convicted of treason, who, as a result of a
felony 4or bribery, unless the person's right to vote is restored through a pardon or under s.
5304.078 (3). conviction, is any of the following:
6.03 (1) (b) 1., 2., 3. and 4. of the statutes are created to read:
(b) 1. Incarcerated while serving a sentence that was not imposed 2
under s. 973.01.
2. Serving a term of confinement, or incarcerated after revocation of extended 4
supervision, while serving a sentence that was imposed under s. 973.01.
3. Incarcerated following the revocation of probation.
4. Confined as a condition of probation under s. 973.09 (4) (a).
6.29 (2) (am) of the statutes is repealed.
6.33 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
The board shall prescribe the format, size, and shape of registration 10
forms. All forms shall be printed on cards and each item of information shall be of 11
uniform font size, as prescribed by the board. The municipal clerk shall supply 12
sufficient forms to meet voter registration needs. The forms shall be designed to 13
obtain from each applicant information as to name; date; residence location; location 14
of previous residence immediately before moving to current residence location; 15
citizenship; date of birth; age; the number of a current and valid operator's license 16
issued to the elector under ch. 343 or the last 4 digits of the elector's social security 17
account number; whether the applicant has resided within the ward or election 18
district for at least 28 consecutive days; whether the applicant has been convicted of
19a felony for which he or she has not been pardoned, and if so, whether the applicant
20is incarcerated, or on parole, probation, or extended supervision;
whether the 21
applicant is disqualified on any other ground for any reason
from voting; and 22
whether the applicant is currently registered to vote at any other location. The form 23
shall include a space for the applicant's signature. Below the space for the signature, 24
the form shall state "Falsification of information on this form is punishable under 25
Wisconsin law as a Class I felony.". The form shall include a space to enter the name
of any special registration deputy under s. 6.26 or 6.55 (6) or inspector, municipal 2
clerk, or deputy clerk under s. 6.55 (2) who obtains the form and a space for the 3
deputy, inspector, clerk, or deputy clerk to sign his or her name, affirming that the 4
deputy, inspector, clerk, or deputy clerk has accepted the form. The form shall 5
include a space for entry of the ward and aldermanic district, if any, where the elector 6
resides and any other information required to determine the offices and referenda 7
for which the elector is certified to vote. The form shall also include a space where 8
the clerk may record an indication of whether the form is received by mail, a space 9
where the clerk may record an indication of the type of identifying document 10
submitted by the elector as proof of residence under s. 6.34, whenever required, and 11
a space where the clerk, for any applicant who possesses a valid voting identification 12
card issued to the person under s. 6.47 (3), may record the identification serial 13
number appearing on the voting identification card. Each county clerk shall obtain 14
sufficient registration forms for completion by an elector who desires to register to 15
vote at the office of the county clerk under s. 6.28 (4).
6.33 (2) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) All information may be recorded by any person, except that the ward 18
and aldermanic district, if any, other geographic information under sub. (1), the 19
indication of whether the registration is received by mail, the type of identifying 20
document submitted by the elector as proof of residence under s. 6.34, whenever 21
required, and any information relating to an applicant's voting identification card 22
shall be recorded by the clerk. An applicant is not required to provide a copy of any
23certificate or notice issued to the applicant under s. 304.078.
Each applicant shall 24
sign his or her own name unless the applicant is unable to sign his or her name due 25
to physical disability. In such case, the applicant may authorize another elector to
sign the form on his or her behalf. If the applicant so authorizes, the elector signing 2
the form shall attest to a statement that the application is made upon request and 3
by authorization of a named elector who is unable to sign the form due to physical 4
6.36 (1) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) The board shall compile and maintain electronically an official 7
registration list. The list shall contain the name and address of each registered 8
elector in the state,;
the date of birth of the elector,;
the ward and aldermanic district 9
of the elector, if any,;
and, for each elector, a unique registration identification 10
number assigned by the board, the number of a valid operator's license issued to the 11
elector under ch. 343, if any, or the last 4 digits of the elector's social security account 12
number, if any,;
any identification serial number issued to the elector under s. 6.47 13
the date of any election in which the elector votes,;
an indication of whether the 14
elector is an overseas elector, as defined in s. 6.24 (1), any information relating to the
15elector that appears on the current list transmitted to the board by the department
16of corrections under s. 301.03 (20m),;
an indication of any accommodation required 17
under s. 5.25 (4) (a) to permit voting by the elector,
an indication of the method by 18
which the elector's registration form was received,;
and such other information as 19
may be determined by the board to facilitate administration of elector registration 20
6.55 (2) (cs) of the statutes is repealed.
6.55 (3) (a) of the statutes is renumbered 6.55 (3).
6.55 (3) (b) of the statutes is repealed.
6.56 (3m) of the statutes is repealed.
6.79 (2) (dm) of the statutes is repealed.
6.88 (3) (c) of the statutes is repealed.
7.52 (6) of the statutes is amended to read:
The board of absentee ballot canvassers shall review each certificate 4
envelope to determine whether any absentee ballot is cast by an elector whose name 5
appears on the poll list as ineligible to vote at the election, including ineligibility to
6vote by reason of a felony conviction
. If the board of absentee ballot canvassers 7
receives an absentee ballot that has been cast by an elector whose name appears on 8
the poll list as ineligible to vote, the inspectors shall challenge the ballot in the same 9
manner as provided for inspectors making challenges under s. 6.92 and shall treat 10
the ballot in the same
manner as provided for treatment of challenged ballots by 11
inspectors under s. 6.95.
301.03 (3a) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
(intro.) Subject to all of the following, design a form to provide 14
notice under ss. 302.117, 973.09 (4m), and s.
973.176 (2) of ineligibility to vote under 15
s. 6.03 (1) (b):
301.03 (20m) of the statutes is repealed.
302.117 of the statutes is repealed.
304.078 (1) of the statutes is repealed.
304.078 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
Except for the right to vote, which is restored
as provided in sub. 21
(3), every person who is convicted of a crime obtains a restoration of his or her civil 22
rights by serving out his or her term of imprisonment or otherwise satisfying his or 23
her sentence. The certificate of the department or other responsible supervising 24
agency that a convicted person has served his or her sentence term of imprisonment 25
or otherwise satisfied the judgment sentence
against him or her is evidence of that
fact and that the person is restored to his or her civil rights. The department or other 2
agency shall list in the person's certificate rights which have been restored and which 3
have not been restored. Persons who served out their terms of imprisonment or 4
otherwise satisfied their sentences prior to August 14, 1947, are likewise restored to 5
their civil rights from and after September 25, 1959.
304.078 (3) of the statutes is renumbered 304.078 (3) (a) and 7
amended to read:
(a) If a person is disqualified from voting
under s. 6.03 (1) (b) from
, his or her right to vote is restored when he or she completes the term of
10imprisonment or probation for the crime that led to the disqualification. The the
11factor under s. 6.03 (1) (b) that disqualified him or her from voting no longer applies
12to him or her.
13(b) When a person is placed on parole or extended supervision or when a person
14is discharged from an incarceration sentence or a confinement period that
15disqualified him or her under s. 6.03 (1) (b) from voting, the
department or, if the 16
person is sentenced to a county jail or house of correction, the jailer shall inform the
17person in writing at the time his or her provide the person written notice of the
to vote is restored under this subsection and, if the person resided in this state at the
19time of conviction, a voter registration form
973.09 (4m) of the statutes is repealed.
973.176 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
973.176 (2) Voting.
Whenever a court imposes a sentence or places a defendant
23on probation for a conviction a condition of probation
that disqualifies the defendant 24
from voting under s. 6.03 (1) (b), the court shall inform the defendant in writing that 25
he or she may not vote in any election until his or her civil rights are restored the
1factor under s. 6.03 (1) (b) that disqualified him or her from voting no longer applies
2to him or her
. The court shall use the form designed by the department of corrections 3
under s. 301.03 (3a) to inform the defendant, and the defendant and a witness shall 4
sign the form.