LRB-5684/1
MPG:skw
2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
February 11, 2020 - Introduced by Representatives Brandtjen, Allen, Dittrich,
Gundrum, Loudenbeck, Magnafici and Skowronski, cosponsored by Senators
Bernier, Wanggaard, Craig and Jacque. Referred to Committee on
Campaigns and Elections.
AB897,1,6 1An Act to amend 5.05 (2m) (a), 6.56 (4) and 7.15 (1) (g); and to create 5.05 (2m)
2(fg) of the statutes; relating to: investigations by the Elections Commission
3based on information from the Electronic Registration Information Center and
4from municipal clerks indicating that Wisconsin registered voters may have
5voted more than once in the same election, and complaints filed with the
6Elections Commission alleging election law violations.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, the administrator of the Elections Commission is required
to enter into a membership agreement with the Electronic Registration Information
Center (ERIC) to assist the commission in maintaining Wisconsin's official voter
registration list. The information ERIC provides to the commission includes
information about voters registered in Wisconsin who may have voted more than
once in the same election because the voter also voted in another state.
This bill requires the commission to obtain and examine after each general
election information provided by ERIC indicating that individuals registered to vote
in Wisconsin may have voted in another state in the same election. Under the bill,
if, after examination of such information and other relevant information and
documents, the commission determines based on criteria established by the
commission that an elector has likely voted more than once in the same election, the
commission must refer the matter to the appropriate district attorney or, in some
circumstances, the attorney general.

Also, under current law, after each election a municipal clerk is required to
perform an audit to assure that no person has been allowed to vote more than once.
If a municipal clerk has good reason to believe that a person has voted more than once
in an election, the municipal clerk is required to send the person a letter regarding
the matter and send a copy of the letter and subsequent information to the local
district attorney and the commission.
This bill applies those requirements to a municipal board of election
commissioners and requires the Elections Commission to verify receipt by district
attorneys of the required letters and information. For purposes of election
administration, municipal clerks are responsible for municipal election functions
except that, in cities having a population of more than 500,000 (the city of
Milwaukee), election functions are delegated by law to a municipal board of election
commissioners.
The bill also includes additional reporting requirements relating to all of the
commission's duties under the bill described above.
Finally, under current law, the commission may initiate an investigation of
potential violations of Wisconsin's election laws only if a sworn complaint is filed with
the commission alleging such a violation occurred. Current law prohibits members
of the commission, the commission administrator, and employees of the commission
from filing a sworn complaint.
Under the bill, any member of the commission and the commission
administrator or his or her designee may file a sworn complaint with the commission
alleging election law violations.
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:
AB897,1 1Section 1. 5.05 (2m) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB897,3,52 5.05 (2m) (a) The commission shall investigate violations of laws administered
3by the commission and may prosecute alleged civil violations of those laws, directly
4or through its agents under this subsection, pursuant to all statutes granting or
5assigning that authority or responsibility to the commission. Prosecution of alleged
6criminal violations investigated by the commission may be brought only as provided
7in par. (c) 11., 14., 15., and 16. and s. 978.05 (1). For purposes of this subsection,
8except as provided under par. (fg), the commission may only initiate an investigation

1of an alleged violation of chs. 5 to 10 and 12, other than an offense described under
2par. (c) 12., based on a sworn complaint filed with the commission, as provided under
3par. (c). Neither the commission nor any Any member or employee of the commission,
4including
or the commission administrator , or his or her designee may file a sworn
5complaint for purposes of this subsection.
AB897,2 6Section 2. 5.05 (2m) (fg) of the statutes is created to read:
AB897,3,107 5.05 (2m) (fg) 1. After each general election, the commission shall obtain and
8examine information from the Electronic Registration Information Center, Inc.,
9indicating that electors registered to vote in this state voted more than once in the
10same election.
AB897,3,1511 2. If, after examination of the information under subd. 1. and other relevant
12information and documents, the commission determines based on criteria
13established by the commission that an elector has likely voted more than once in the
14same election, the commission shall refer the matter as provided in par. (c) 11. no
15later than 180 days after the commission obtains the information under subd. 1.
AB897,3,2016 3. If, after examination of information received under s. 6.56 (4) and other
17relevant information and documents, the commission determines that an elector has
18likely voted more than once in the same election, the commission shall refer the
19matter as provided in par. (c) 11. no later than 180 days after the commission receives
20the information under s. 6.56 (4).
AB897,3,2221 4. Each county and municipal clerk and board of election commissioners shall
22cooperate fully with commission investigations under this paragraph.
AB897,4,223 5. In each report it submits to the legislature under s. 7.15 (1) (g), the
24commission shall include information relating to its duties under this paragraph,

1including the number of referrals made under subds. 2. and 3. and a general
2description of each referral and the outcome of the referral.
AB897,3 3Section 3 . 6.56 (4) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB897,4,184 6.56 (4) After each election, the municipal clerk or board of election
5commissioners
shall perform an audit to assure that no person has been allowed to
6vote more than once. Whenever the municipal clerk or board of election
7commissioners
has good reason to believe that a person has voted more than once in
8an election, the clerk or board of election commissioners shall send the person a 1st
9class letter marked in accordance with postal regulations to ensure that it will be
10returned to the clerk or board of election commissioners if the elector does not reside
11at the address given on the letter. The letter shall inform the person that all
12registrations relating to that person may be changed from eligible to ineligible status
13within 7 days unless the person contacts the office of the clerk or board of election
14commissioners
to clarify the matter. A copy of the letter and of any subsequent
15information received from or about the addressee shall be sent to the district attorney
16for the county where the person resides and the commission. The commission shall
17verify the district attorney's receipt of each letter and all subsequent information
18required to be sent to the district attorney under this subsection.
AB897,4 19Section 4 . 7.15 (1) (g) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB897,5,320 7.15 (1) (g) In the manner prescribed by the commission, report suspected
21election frauds, irregularities, or violations of which the clerk has knowledge to the
22district attorney for the county where the suspected activity occurs and to the
23commission. The commission shall annually report the information obtained under
24this paragraph to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2). The report shall include
25information relating to the duties of a municipal clerk or board of election

1commissioners under s. 6.56 (4), including the number of letters referring matters
2to district attorneys under s. 6.56 (4) and a general description of each referral and
3the outcome of the referral.
AB897,5,44 (End)
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