2015 - 2016 LEGISLATURE
October 9, 2015 - Introduced by Senators LeMahieu, Risser, Wanggaard and
Miller, cosponsored by Representatives Bernier, Berceau, Czaja, Kahl,
Kleefisch, Knudson, Kolste, Pope, Rohrkaste, Sargent, Swearingen, Tittl
and Vorpagel. Referred to Committee on Elections and Local Government.
SB295,2,5 1An Act to repeal 6.26 and 7.515; to renumber and amend 6.28 (1); to amend
25.056, 5.85 (2) (b) 1., 5.85 (2) (b) 2., 5.90 (1), 5.91 (intro.), 6.22 (5), 6.24 (3), 6.25
3(1) (a), 6.25 (1) (b), 6.275 (1) (b), 6.30 (1), 6.32, 6.33 (1), 6.33 (2) (a), 6.33 (2) (b),
46.34 (2), 6.34 (3) (a) 7. b., 6.35 (1) (intro.), 6.36 (1) (b) 1. a., 6.36 (2) (c), 6.40 (1)
5(a) 1., 6.40 (1) (c), 6.50 (10), 6.55 (2) (b), 6.55 (2) (c) 1., 6.55 (2) (cs), 6.55 (2) (d),
66.55 (6), 6.79 (1m), 6.79 (2) (d), 6.86 (3) (b), 6.86 (3) (c), 6.87 (4) (b) 1., 6.87 (6),
77.03 (1) (d), 7.08 (1) (c), 7.30 (2) (a), 7.31 (1), 7.315 (1) (a), 7.315 (1) (b) 1., 7.315
8(1) (b) 2., 7.315 (3), 7.37 (13), 7.51 (5) (b), 7.53 (1) (a), 7.53 (3) (a), 9.01 (1) (a) 1.,
917.29, 85.61 (1) and 343.027; and to create 5.02 (4g), 5.05 (16), 6.30 (5), 6.34
10(2m), 6.34 (3) (a) 12., 6.34 (4), 6.35 (2), 6.36 (1) (ae), 6.87 (6d), 7.315 (4) and 7.315
11(5) of the statutes; relating to: electronic voter registration, verification of
12certain registrations, proof of residence for voting in an election, authorizing
13Wisconsin to enter into agreements to share information related to the
14registration and voting of electors; election registration officials; testing

1election officials after training; electronic poll lists; election equipment
2approval; overvoted ballots; voter registration proof of residency for an
3individual in a residential care facility; counting of absentee ballots; witness
4address required for valid absentee ballot; and granting rule-making
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill makes the following changes to the election laws:
Electronic voter registration
This bill permits a qualified elector to register to vote electronically, eliminates
the position and responsibilities of special registration deputies, and requires the
Government Accountability Board (GAB) to enter into agreements with other state
election administrators to share information related to the registration and voting
of qualified electors.
Currently, a qualified elector may register to vote at any election by mail, in
person at the office of the municipal or county clerk or board of election
commissioners for the municipality or county where the elector resides, or by
completing a registration form with a special registration deputy no later than the
20th day before the election. A qualified elector may also register to vote at an
election in person at the office of the municipal clerk or board of election
commissioners for the municipality where the elector resides no later than 5 p.m. on
the Friday before the election. In order to register, an elector must provide his or her
name and address and certain other information required to ascertain his or her
eligibility and must sign the form. With certain exceptions, an elector who registers
after the 20th day before an election or an elector who registers by mail and who has
not voted before in an election in this state must provide proof of residence prior to
voting. Currently, the clerk or board of election commissioners must verify each
registration received by mail or submitted by a special registration deputy by
sending a first-class letter or postcard to the registrant at the registrant's address.
This bill permits a qualified elector who has a current and valid driver's license
or identification card issued by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to register
to vote at an election electronically on a secure Internet site maintained by GAB. The
bill requires an electronic registration to be completed no later than the 20th day
before an election in order to be valid for that election. Under the bill, a qualified
elector enters the same information that appears on the current registration form
and authorizes DOT to forward a copy of his or her electronic signature to GAB. The
authorization affirms that all information provided by the elector is correct and has
the same effect as if the elector signed the form personally. The bill also permits an
elector who is currently registered to vote and who has a current and valid driver's

license or identification card to electronically enter a change of name or address
using a similar procedure.
In accordance with the existing procedure for verifying registrations that are
not received at the office of the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners,
the bill provides that when an electronic registration is received, GAB or the clerk
or board of election commissioners of the elector's municipality of residence must
verify each electronic registration by sending a first-class letter or postcard to the
registrant at the registrant's address. Except as otherwise permitted under the bill,
if the registrant is voting for the first time in an election in this state, the registrant
must provide proof of residence before voting in the election. The bill creates one
exception which provides that, if an elector who registers electronically provides his
or her Wisconsin driver's license number, together with his or her name and date of
birth, and GAB is able to verify the information electronically at the time of
registration by electronically accessing DOT's records, the elector need not provide
proof of residence prior to voting. The bill directs GAB and DOT to enter into an
agreement that permits GAB to verify the necessary information instantly by
accessing DOT's electronic files.
Currently, each municipal clerk and board of election commissioners must
maintain a file of voter registration forms for the electors of the municipality. This
bill provides that the clerk or board must maintain registrations that are entered
electronically in the manner prescribed by GAB, by rule.
The changes to elector registration first apply with respect to registration for
voting at the first spring or partisan primary election that follows the day on which
the bill becomes law by at least six months.
Current law permits municipal clerks to appoint qualified electors to serve as
special registration deputies in a municipality for the purpose of registering electors
of that municipality prior to the close of registration. The municipal clerk may
authorize a special registration deputy to register electors at a polling place if the
registration process would be facilitated by that authorization. Individuals must
generally complete training provided by GAB prior to serving as a special
registration deputy. This bill eliminates the authority to appoint and use special
registration deputies.
This bill requires the chief election officer to enter into an agreement with the
Electronic Registration Information Center for the purpose of maintaining this
state's statewide voter registration list.
Election registration officials
This bill allows the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners to
appoint election registration officials to register voters at the polling place on election
day. The bill also requires election registration officials to receive the same training
as inspectors. Under the bill, the term "election registration official" refers to an
individual who is appointed to register electors at the polling place.
Under current law, GAB must, by rule, prescribe requirements for certifying
individuals to serve as chief inspectors for an election. The board must include
training as part of those requirements, but the board may not require an individual

who receives the training to take an examination. This bill allows the board to
require such an examination.
Electronic poll lists
This bill requires GAB to facilitate the creation and maintenance of electronic
poll lists.
Electronic voting systems
This bill allows GAB to certify any voting device, automatic tabulating
equipment, or related equipment and materials for use in an electronic voting
system, regardless of whether any such items are approved by the federal Election
Assistance Commission.
Under current law, for the purpose of counting the votes cast using an electronic
voting system, when an elector votes for more candidates for an office than are
allowed to hold that office, an election official must create a duplicate ballot to record
all the other votes that the elector cast and to eliminate the overvote. The official
then marks the original and the duplicate and secures them both in the ballot
container with the other ballots.
Under the bill, an election official may, instead, use the override function of the
electronic voting system in order to record all votes of the elector on the original ballot
other than the votes for the overvoted office. The official then marks the original
ballot as an overvoted ballot and secures that ballot with the other ballots in the
ballot container.
Proof of residency; residential care facility
Under current law, an individual who wants to register to vote must present
proof of residency. An individual may present any of number of different documents
to prove where the individual lives, including a valid and current driver's license or
identification card, a property tax bill, an utility bill, a bank statement, or a check
or other document issued by a governmental unit. Under current law, the proof of
residency must specify the individual's name and his or her complete and current
residential address, including the numbered street address and the municipality.
Under this bill, for purposes of registering to vote with election registration
officials, an occupant of a residential care facility may use a contract or intake
document prepared by the residential care facility that specifies that the occupant
currently resides in the facility. The bill does not apply to occupants of a retirement
Receiving absentee ballots by mail
This bill changes the date by which an elector must return and a municipal
clerk must receive an absentee ballot by mail. Under current law, an elector may vote
by absentee ballot either in person or by returning a completed ballot by U.S. mail.
Current law requires a municipal clerk to accept and count the votes on absentee
ballots received by mail as long as the ballot is postmarked no later than election day
and received in the office of the municipal clerk by 4 p.m. on the Friday following
election day.

This bill retains the right of an elector to vote by absentee ballot by mail, but
requires the elector to return the ballot so that it is received no later than 8 p.m. on
election day. Under current law, the polls close at 8 p.m. on election day.
Absentee ballots; witness certificate
Under current law, in order to vote using an absentee ballot, an individual must
complete a certificate, which certifies that the individual is a qualified elector. The
individual must sign the certificate in the presence of a witness who must also sign
the certificate and provide his or her name and address. Under this bill, an absentee
ballot may not be counted if the certificate is missing the address of a witness.
For further information see the state and local 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:
SB295,1 1Section 1. 5.02 (4g) of the statutes is created to read:
SB295,5,32 5.02 (4g) "Election registration official" means an individual appointed to
3register electors at the polling place.
SB295,2 4Section 2. 5.05 (16) of the statutes is created to read:
SB295,5,75 5.05 (16) Electronic poll lists. The board shall facilitate the creation and
6maintenance of electronic poll lists for purposes of s. 6.79 including entering into
7contracts with vendors and establishing programs for development and testing.
SB295,3 8Section 3. 5.056 of the statutes is amended to read:
SB295,5,14 95.056 Matching program with secretary of transportation. The
10administrator of the elections division of the board shall enter into the agreement
11with the secretary of transportation specified under s. 85.61 (1) to match personally
12identifiable information on the official registration list maintained by the board
13under s. 6.36 (1) and the information specified in s. 6.34 (2m) with personally
14identifiable information maintained by the department of transportation.
SB295,4 15Section 4. 5.85 (2) (b) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
15.85 (2) (b) 1. In case of an overvote for any office, the election officials shall may
2either use the override function of the electronic voting system in order to eliminate
3the votes for the overvoted office or
make a true duplicate ballot of all votes on the
4ballot except for the office that is overvoted in the manner described in this
5subdivision. The If the election officials make a true duplicate ballot, they shall use
6an official ballot of that kind used by the elector who voted the original ballot, and
7one of the marking devices, so as to transfer all votes of the elector except for the office
8overvoted to an official ballot of that kind used in the ward at that election. Unless
9election officials are selected under s. 7.30 (4) (c) without regard to party affiliation,
10whenever election officials of both of the 2 major political parties are present, the
11election officials acting under this subdivision shall consist in each case of at least
12one election official of each of the parties.
SB295,5 13Section 5. 5.85 (2) (b) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB295,6,2514 5.85 (2) (b) 2. On any original ballot upon which there is an overvote, the
15election officials shall, in the space on the ballot for official endorsement, identify the
16ballot as an "Overvoted Ballot" and write a serial number. On the any duplicate
17ballot produced under subd. 1., the election officials shall, in the space on the ballot
18for official endorsement, identify the ballot as a "Duplicate Overvoted Ballot" and
19write a serial number. The election officials shall place the same serial number on
20each "Overvoted Ballot" and its corresponding "Duplicate Overvoted Ballot,"
21commencing with number "1" and continuing consecutively for each of the ballots for
22which a "Duplicate Overvoted Ballot" is produced in that ward or election district.
23The election officials shall initial the "Duplicate Overvoted Ballot" ballots and shall
24place them in the container for return of the ballots. The "Overvoted Ballot" ballots
25and their envelopes shall be placed in the "Original Ballots" envelope.
1Section 6. 5.90 (1) of the statutes is amended to read: