2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
June 21, 2019 - Introduced by Senators Hansen,
Johnson, Bewley, Carpenter,
Larson, Ringhand, Risser, Schachtner, L. Taylor, Wirch and Smith,
cosponsored by Representatives
Crowley, Gruszynski, Vining, Anderson,
Billings, Bowen, Brostoff, Cabrera, Considine, Doyle, Emerson, Fields,
Goyke, Haywood, Hebl, Hesselbein, Hintz, Kolste, McGuire, L. Myers,
Neubauer, Ohnstad, Pope, Riemer, Sargent, Shankland, Sinicki, Spreitzer,
Stubbs, Subeck, C. Taylor, Vruwink and Zamarripa. Referred to Committee
on Elections, Ethics and Rural Issues.
1An Act to amend
5.056, 6.33 (2) (a), 6.35 (3), 6.86 (3) (c) and 85.61 (1); and to
6.256, 6.29 (2) (e) and 343.14 (2p) of the statutes; relating to: automatic
3voter registration and the integration of registration information with
4information maintained by the Department of Transportation and other state
5agencies and granting rule-making authority.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill requires the Elections Commission to facilitate the registration of all
eligible electors of this state and to maintain the registration of all eligible electors
for so long as they remain eligible. The bill directs the commission and the
Department of Transportation to enter into an agreement so that DOT may transfer
information in DOT's records to the commission. The bill requires the commission
to maintain the confidentiality of any information it obtains under the agreement
and allows a driver's license or identification card applicant to “opt out" of DOT's
transfer of this information to the commission. Once the commission obtains all the
information required under current law to complete an elector's registration, the
commission adds the elector's name to the statewide registration list.
The bill also directs the Elections Commission to report to the appropriate
standing committees of the legislature, no later than July 1, 2020, concerning its
progress in implementing the registration system created by the bill. The report
must contain an assessment of the feasibility of integrating registration information
with information maintained by other agencies.
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:
5.056 of the statutes is amended to read:
25.056 Matching program with secretary of transportation.
commission administrator shall enter into the agreement with the secretary of 4
transportation specified under s. 85.61 (1) to match personally identifiable 5
information on the official registration list maintained by the commission under s. 6
6.36 (1) and the information specified in s.
ss. 6.256 (2) and
6.34 (2m) with personally 7
identifiable information maintained by the department of transportation. Subject
8to s. 343.14 (2p) (b), the agreement shall provide for the electronic transfer of
9information under s. 6.256 (2) to the commission on a continuous basis, no less often
6.256 of the statutes is created to read:
126.256 Commission shall facilitate registration of electors. (1)
Except as 13
provided for electors specified in sub. (7) and as otherwise expressly provided, the 14
commission shall use all feasible means to facilitate the registration of all eligible 15
electors of this state who are subject to a registration requirement and the 16
maintenance of the registration of all eligible electors for so long as they remain 17
Subject to s. 343.14 (2p) (b), for the purpose of carrying out its functions 19
under sub. (1), the commission shall obtain the following information from the 20
department of transportation, to the extent that the department has the 21
(a) The full name of each individual who holds a current operator's license 2
issued to the individual under ch. 343 or a current identification card issued to the 3
individual under s. 343.50, together with the following information pertaining to 4
1. The current address of the individual together with any address history and 6
any name history maintained by the department of transportation.
2. The date of birth of the individual.
3. The number of the license or identification card issued to the individual.
4. A copy of the document that the applicant provided as proof of citizenship 10
and a statement from the department of transportation indicating that the 11
department verified the applicant's citizenship. For purposes of this subdivision, the 12
applicant shall provide a document that meets the requirements under 42 USC
(b) For each item of information specified in this subsection, the most recent 15
date that the item of information was provided or obtained by the department of 16
The commission shall compare the information obtained under sub. (2) with 18
the information in the registration list under s. 6.36 (1) (a). If the commission finds 19
discrepancies between the information obtained under sub. (2) regarding an elector 20
and the information in the registration list under s. 6.36 (1) (a) regarding that same 21
elector, the commission shall contact the elector by mail or telephone or in person to 22
resolve the discrepancies. If the commission is able to resolve the discrepancies after 23
contacting the elector, the commission shall update the information on the 24
registration list. If the commission is unable to contact the elector, the commission 25
shall resolve any discrepancies in favor of the information in the registration list.
Except as provided in this subsection and sub. (7), if the commission 2
concludes that an individual appears eligible to vote in this state but is not 3
registered, and the commission has obtained from reliable sources all the 4
information required under s. 6.33 (1) to complete the individual's registration, the 5
commission shall enter the individual's name on the registration list. If the 6
commission has not obtained from reliable sources all the information pertaining to 7
an individual that is required under s. 6.33 (1), the commission shall attempt to 8
obtain from reliable sources the necessary information under s. 6.33 (1) that is 9
required to complete the individual's registration. If a municipality has changed the 10
status of an elector from eligible to ineligible under s. 6.50 (1) and the elector's 11
eligibility, name, or residence has not changed, the commission may not change the 12
individual's name to eligible status unless the commission first verifies that the 13
individual is eligible and wishes to change his or her status to eligible.
The commission shall attempt to contact individuals described in sub. (4) 15
if necessary to obtain all the information specified in s. 6.33 (1) pertaining to the 16
individual that is required to complete the individual's registration.
If the commission is able to obtain all the required information specified in 18
s. 6.33 (1) pertaining to an individual, the commission shall enter the name of the 19
individual on the registration list maintained under s. 6.36 (1) (a).
Any individual may file a request with the commission to exclude his or her 21
name from the registration list. Any individual whose name is added to the 22
registration list by the commission may file a request with the commission or a 23
municipal clerk to have his or her name deleted from the list. A request for exclusion 24
or deletion shall be filed in the manner prescribed by the commission. An individual 25
who files an exclusion or deletion request under this subsection may revoke his or
her request by the same means that an individual may request an exclusion or 2
deletion. The commission shall ensure that the name of any individual who has filed 3
an exclusion or deletion request under this subsection is excluded from the 4
registration list or, if the individual's name appears on the list, is removed from the 5
registration list and is not added to the list at any subsequent time unless the 6
individual files a revocation of his or her request under this subsection.
If the commission removes from the registration list the name of an elector 8
who does not request that his or her name be deleted, other than to correct an entry 9
that the commission positively determines to be a duplication or to change the name 10
of an individual who is verified to be deceased to ineligible status, the commission 11
shall mail the individual a notice of the removal or change in status by 1st class 12
postcard at the individual's last-known address. The notice shall provide that the 13
individual may apply to have his or her status changed to eligible if he or she is a 14
The commission shall attempt to facilitate the initial registration of all 16
eligible electors, except as otherwise provided in this section, as soon as practicable.
The commission shall maintain the confidentiality of all information 18
obtained from the department of transportation under sub. (2) and may use this 19
information only for the purpose of carrying out its functions under sub. (1) and s. 20
6.34 (2m) and in accordance with the agreement under s. 85.61 (1).
6.29 (2) (e) of the statutes is created to read:
(e) The municipal clerk or clerk's agent shall promptly add the names 23
of qualified electors who register and vote under this section to the registration list. 24
The clerk or clerk's agent shall add the names of qualified electors who vote at their 25
polling places in the manner prescribed in s. 6.33 (5) (a).
6.33 (2) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) All information may be recorded by any person, except that the clerk 3
shall record the ward and aldermanic district, if any, other geographic information 4
under sub. (1), the indication of whether the registration is received by mail, and the 5
type of identifying document submitted by the elector as proof of residence under s. 6
6.34 or the indication of verification of information in lieu of proof of residence under
7s. 6.34 (2m)
. Except as provided in s. 6.30 (5), each elector shall sign his or her own 8
name unless the elector is unable to sign his or her name due to physical disability. 9
In such case, the elector may authorize another elector to sign the form on his or her 10
behalf. If the elector so authorizes, the elector signing the form shall attest to a 11
statement that the application is made upon request and by authorization of a named 12
elector who is unable to sign the form due to physical disability.
6.35 (3) of the statutes is amended to read:
6.35 (3) Original Except for electronic registrations, original
registration forms 15
shall be maintained in the office of the municipal clerk or board of election 16
commissioners at all times. The commission shall maintain electronic registration
17forms and make such forms available for inspection by the municipal clerk, the
18clerk's designated agent, or the board of election commissioners.
6.86 (3) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
(c) An application under par. (a) 1. may be made and a registration form 21
under par. (a) 2. may be filed in person at the office of the municipal clerk not earlier 22
than 7 days before an election and not later than 5 p.m. on the day of the election. 23
A list of hospitalized electors applying for ballots under par. (a) 1. shall be made by 24
the municipal clerk and used to check that the electors vote only once, and by 25
absentee ballot. If Except as provided in s. 6.34 (2m), if
the elector is registering for
the election after the close of registration or if the elector registered by mail or by
and has not voted in an election in this state, the municipal 3
clerk shall inform the agent that proof of residence under s. 6.34 is required and the 4
elector shall enclose proof of residence under s. 6.34 in the envelope with the ballot. 5
The clerk shall verify that the name on any required proof of identification presented 6
by the agent conforms to the name on the elector's application. The clerk shall then 7
enter his or her initials on the carrier envelope indicating that the agent presented 8
proof of identification to the clerk. The agent is not required to enter a signature on 9
the registration list. The ballot shall be sealed by the elector and returned to the 10
municipal clerk either by mail or by personal delivery of the agent; but if the ballot 11
is returned on the day of the election, the agent shall make personal delivery to the 12
polling place serving the hospitalized elector's residence before the closing hour or, 13
in municipalities where absentee ballots are canvassed under s. 7.52, to the 14
municipal clerk no later than 8 p.m. on election day.
85.61 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
The secretary of transportation and the administrator of the elections 17
commission shall enter into an agreement to match personally identifiable 18
information on the official registration list maintained by the commission under s. 19
6.36 (1) and the information specified in s.
ss. 6.256 (2) and
6.34 (2m) with personally 20
identifiable information in the operating record file database under ch. 343 and 21
vehicle registration records under ch. 341 to the extent required to enable the 22
secretary of transportation and the administrator of the elections commission to 23
verify the accuracy of the information provided for the purpose of voter registration. 24Notwithstanding ss. 110.09 (2), 342.06 (1) (eg), and 343.14 (2j), but subject to s.
25343.14 (2p) (b), the agreement shall provide for the transfer of electronic information
1under s. 6.256 (2) to the commission on a continuous basis, no less often than
343.14 (2p) of the statutes is created to read:
(a) The forms for application for a license or identification card or 5
for renewal thereof shall inform the applicant of the department's duty to make 6
available to the elections commission the information described in s. 6.256 (2) for the 7
purposes specified in s. 6.256 (1) and (3) and shall provide the applicant an 8
opportunity to elect not to have this information made available for these purposes.
(b) If the applicant elects not to have the information described in s. 6.256 (2) 10
made available for the purposes specified in s. 6.256 (1) and (3), the department shall 11
not make this information available for these purposes. This paragraph does not 12
preclude the department from making available to the elections commission 13
information for the purposes specified in s. 6.34 (2m) or for any purpose other than 14
those specified in s. 6.256 (1) and (3).
(1) Initial sharing of registration information.
Notwithstanding ss. 85.61 17
(1), 110.09 (2), 342.06 (1) (eg), and 343.14 (2j), the department of transportation shall 18
enter into and begin transferring information under a revised agreement with the 19
elections commission administrator pursuant to s. 85.61 (1) no later than the first 20
day of the 4th month beginning after the effective date of this subsection.
(2) Report on voter registration information integration.
No later than July 22
1, 2020, the elections commission shall report to the appropriate standing 23
committees of the legislature, in the manner specified in s. 13.172 (3), concerning its 24
progress in initially implementing a system to ensure the complete and continuous 25
registration of all eligible electors in this state, specifically including the operability
and utility of information integration with the department of transportation and the 2
feasibility and desirability of integrating public information maintained by other 3
state agencies and by technical colleges with the commission's registration 4
information to enhance the completeness and accuracy of the information. At a 5
minimum, the report shall contain an assessment of the feasibility and desirability 6
of the integration of registration information with information maintained by the 7
departments of health services, children and families, workforce development, 8
revenue, safety and professional services, and natural resources; the University of 9
Wisconsin System; and the technical college system board, as well as the technical 10
colleges within each technical college district.