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LRB-1537/1
JK&MPG:skw
2021 - 2022 LEGISLATURE
March 16, 2021 - Introduced by Senators Stroebel, Darling, Roth, Marklein,
Wanggaard, Bradley, Nass, Ballweg and Felzkowski, cosponsored by
Representatives August, Brooks, Gundrum, Magnafici, Edming, Spiros,
Krug, Neylon, Loudenbeck, Kuglitsch, Murphy, Jagler, VanderMeer,
Knodl and Wichgers. Referred to Committee on Elections, Election Process
Reform and Ethics.
SB203,1,3 1An Act to amend 6.86 (1) (a) 1., 6.87 (4) (b) 1. and 12.60 (1) (a); and to create
26.856 and 12.13 (3) (md) of the statutes; relating to: the secure delivery of
3absentee ballots and providing a penalty.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill makes a number of changes related to obtaining and returning
absentee ballots.
Current law provides that a voter may make a written application to the
municipal clerk to obtain an absentee ballot by mail, in person at the clerk's office
or at an alternate absentee ballot site, by an agent for a hospitalized voter, by
delivering an application to a special voting deputy, or electronically. This bill also
allows a voter to use a for-profit commercial delivery service that moves parcels
nationally and internationally to return an absentee ballot application.
Current law requires that an absentee ballot be returned by mail or in person
to the municipal clerk. Under the bill, an absentee ballot must be returned by mail
or by the voter, a member of the voter's immediate family, or the voter's legal
guardian to the office of the municipal clerk; to the municipal clerk at an alternate
absentee ballot site; to the site of a collection event; or to the voter's polling place on
election day. If the voter is unable to deliver the absentee ballot and has no legal
guardian or immediate family residing in this state, the voter may designate, in
writing, one person who is a registered voter in this state to deliver the ballot, except
that the voter may not designate a candidate on the ballot nor compensate the person
to deliver the ballot. No person designated to deliver a ballot may deliver more than

one ballot for any election for a person who is not a member of the person's immediate
family.
The bill allows a municipality to designate a site other than the municipal
clerk's office as a location for a voter to return his or her completed absentee ballot.
Unlike an alternate absentee ballot site under current law, a site designated for the
collection of completed absentee ballots may not be used by a voter to make a request
for and vote by absentee ballot. However, similar to an alternate absentee ballot site,
a designated collection site must be located as near as practicable to the office of the
municipal clerk. In addition, like an alternate absentee ballot site, a collection site
must be staffed by the municipal clerk or employees of the clerk and be accessible to
all individuals with disabilities. Under the bill, a voter may return his or her
completed absentee ballot to a collection site only during the period that coincides
with the period for making applications for in person absentee ballots. That period
begins no earlier than 14 days preceding an election and ends no later than the
Sunday preceding that election.
Finally, the bill prohibits a person from obtaining a marked absentee ballot
from another person in order to deliver it to the municipal clerk or polling place,
unless the person obtaining the ballot is a member of the voter's immediate family
or the voter's legal guardian. A person who violates this prohibition is guilty of a
Class I felony.
Because this bill creates a new crime or revises a penalty for an existing crime,
the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties may be requested to prepare a
report.
For further information see the 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:
SB203,1 1Section 1. 6.856 of the statutes is created to read:
SB203,3,7 26.856 Collection events. The governing body of a municipality may elect to
3designate a site other than the office of the municipal clerk or board of election
4commissioners as a location for an elector to deliver his or her completed absentee
5ballot. The designated site shall be located as near as practicable to the office of the
6municipal clerk or board of election commissioners and no site may be designated
7that affords an advantage to any political party. No site designated under this
8subsection may be used by an elector to make a request for and vote by absentee

1ballot. The designated site shall be staffed by the municipal clerk or the executive
2director of the board of election commissioners, or employees of the clerk or the board
3of election commissioners, and shall be accessible to all individuals with disabilities.
4An elector may deliver his or her completed absentee ballot to a location designated
5under this subsection only during the period for making in-person applications for
6an absentee ballot under s. 6.86 (1) (b). A person may observe the proceedings at a
7location designated under this subsection as provided in s. 7.41.
SB203,2 8Section 2. 6.86 (1) (a) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB203,3,109 6.86 (1) (a) 1. By mail or by a for-profit commercial delivery service moving
10parcels nationally and internationally
.
SB203,3 11Section 3. 6.87 (4) (b) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB203,5,312 6.87 (4) (b) 1. Except as otherwise provided in s. 6.875, an elector voting
13absentee, other than a military elector or an overseas elector, shall make and
14subscribe to the certification before one witness who is an adult U.S. citizen. A
15military elector or an overseas elector voting absentee, regardless of whether the
16elector qualifies as a resident of this state under s. 6.10, shall make and subscribe
17to the certification before one witness who is an adult but who need not be a U.S.
18citizen. The absent elector, in the presence of the witness, shall mark the ballot in
19a manner that will not disclose how the elector's vote is cast. The elector shall then,
20still in the presence of the witness, fold the ballots so each is separate and so that the
21elector conceals the markings thereon and deposit them in the proper envelope. If
22a consolidated ballot under s. 5.655 is used, the elector shall fold the ballot so that
23the elector conceals the markings thereon and deposit the ballot in the proper
24envelope. If proof of residence under s. 6.34 is required and the document enclosed
25by the elector under this subdivision does not constitute proof of residence under s.

16.34, the elector shall also enclose proof of residence under s. 6.34 in the envelope.
2Except as provided in s. 6.34 (2m), proof of residence is required if the elector is not
3a military elector or an overseas elector and the elector registered by mail or by
4electronic application and has not voted in an election in this state. If the elector
5requested a ballot by means of facsimile transmission or electronic mail under s. 6.86
6(1) (ac), the elector shall enclose in the envelope a copy of the request which bears an
7original signature of the elector. The elector may receive assistance under sub. (5).
8The return envelope shall then be sealed. The witness may not be a candidate. The
9envelope shall be mailed by the elector, or delivered in person, by the elector, a
10member of the elector's immediate family, or the elector's legal guardian
to the office
11of the
municipal clerk issuing the ballot or ballots; to the municipal clerk at an
12alternate absentee ballot site under s. 6.855; to the site of a collection event under
13s. 6.856; or to the elector's polling place on election day. If the elector is unable to
14deliver the return envelope and has no legal guardian or immediate family residing
15in this state, the elector may designate, in writing, one person who is registered to
16vote in this state to deliver the return envelope as provided in this subdivision, except
17that the elector may not designate a candidate on the ballot nor compensate the
18person to deliver the envelope. No person designated to deliver a return envelope
19may deliver more than one envelope for any election for a person who is not a member
20of the person's immediate family
. If the envelope is mailed from a location outside
21the United States, the elector shall affix sufficient postage unless the ballot qualifies
22for delivery free of postage under federal law. Failure to return an unused ballot in
23a primary does not invalidate the ballot on which the elector's votes are cast. Return
24of more than one marked ballot in a primary or return of a ballot prepared under s.
255.655 or a ballot used with an electronic voting system in a primary which is marked

1for candidates of more than one party invalidates all votes cast by the elector for
2candidates in the primary. In this subdivision, “immediate family” means persons
3who are related as spouses, as siblings, or as parent and child.
SB203,4 4Section 4 . 12.13 (3) (md) of the statutes is created to read:
SB203,5,105 12.13 (3) (md) Obtain a marked absentee ballot from another person in order
6to deliver it to the proper municipal clerk or polling place, unless the person
7obtaining the ballot is a member of the elector's immediate family, the elector's legal
8guardian, or a person designated to deliver the ballot under s. 6.87 (4) (b) 1. In this
9paragraph, “immediate family” means persons who are related as spouses, as
10siblings, or as parent and child.
SB203,5 11Section 5. 12.60 (1) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB203,5,1312 12.60 (1) (a) Whoever violates s. 12.09, 12.11 or 12.13 (1), (2) (b) 1. to 7. or (3)
13(a), (e), (f), (j), (k), (L), (m), (md), (y) or (z) is guilty of a Class I felony.
SB203,5,1414 (End)
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