2021 - 2022 LEGISLATURE
March 16, 2021 - Introduced by Senators Stroebel, Darling, Roth,
Nass, Ballweg and Felzkowski, cosponsored by Representatives Duchow,
Brooks, Skowronski, Magnafici, Edming, Kerkman, Spiros, Krug, Gundrum,
Kuglitsch, Murphy, Wichgers and Knodl. Referred to Committee on
Elections, Election Process Reform and Ethics.
1An Act to amend
6.86 (2) (a), 6.86 (2) (b) and 12.60 (1) (a); and to create
(3) (ig) of the statutes; relating to: status as an indefinitely confined voter for
3purposes of receiving absentee ballots automatically and providing a penalty.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Current law allows a voter who is indefinitely confined because of age, physical
illness, infirmity, or disability to have, by signing a statement to that effect, an
absentee ballot sent to the voter automatically every election. The voter is not
required to submit a copy of his or her voter identification with the request to receive
absentee ballots automatically, but is required to notify the municipal clerk when the
voter is no longer indefinitely confined.
This bill does all of the following:
1. Requires that the voter's statement claiming that he or she is indefinitely
confined be made under oath.
2. If the voter is under the age of 65, requires that the voter's statement be
signed by a physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse
who has primary responsibility for the treatment and care of the voter.
4. Specifies that the existence of an outbreak or epidemic of a communicable
disease in a voter's community does not qualify the voter as indefinitely confined.
5. Provides that a voter's status as indefinitely confined is removed every two
years unless the voter submits a renewal application.
6. Specifies that the penalty for making a false statement for the purpose of
qualifying as indefinitely confined is a Class I felony, which is a fine not to exceed
$10,000 or imprisonment not to exceed three years and six months, or both.
6. Requires the Elections Commission to facilitate the removal of the
indefinitely confined status of each voter who received that status between March
12, 2020, and November 6, 2020. A voter whose indefinitely confined status is so
removed must submit a new application for indefinitely confined status in order to
continue receiving absentee ballots automatically.
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
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:
6.86 (2) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) An elector who is indefinitely confined because of his or her
or infirmity or is disabled for an indefinite period may by signing a 4
statement to that effect require that an absentee ballot be sent to the elector 5
automatically for every election. The statement shall be made or subscribed by the
6elector under oath or affirmation. If the elector is under the age of 65, the statement
7shall be signed by an attending health care professional, as defined in s. 154.01 (1r). 8
The application form and instructions shall be prescribed by the commission, and 9
furnished upon request to any elector by each municipality. The envelope containing 10
the absentee ballot shall be clearly marked as not forwardable. If any elector is no 11
longer indefinitely confined, the elector shall so notify the municipal clerk. The
12existence of an outbreak or epidemic of a communicable disease in an elector's
13community does not qualify the elector as indefinitely confined for purposes of
14receiving absentee ballots automatically under this subsection.
6.86 (2) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) The mailing list established under this subsection shall be kept 17
current through all possible means. If an elector fails to cast and return an absentee
ballot received under this subsection, or if 2 years have passed from the date on which
2the elector last applied to receive absentee ballots automatically under this
the clerk shall notify the elector by 1st class letter or postcard that his 4
or her name will be removed from the mailing list unless the clerk receives a renewal 5
of the application within 30 days of the notification. The clerk shall remove from the 6
list the name of each elector who does not apply for renewal within the 30-day period. 7
The clerk shall remove the name of any other elector from the list upon request of the 8
elector or upon receipt of reliable information that an elector
no longer qualifies
9for the service indefinitely confined because of age, physical illness, or infirmity or
10is no longer disabled for an indefinite period
. The clerk shall notify the elector of such 11
action not taken at the elector's request within 5 days, if possible.
12.13 (3) (ig) of the statutes is created to read:
(ig) Falsely make any statement for the purpose of qualifying as 14
indefinitely confined under s. 6.86 (2) (a) or (b).
12.60 (1) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) Whoever violates s. 12.09, 12.11 or 12.13 (1), (2) (b) 1. to 7. or (3) 17
(a), (e), (f), (j), (ig),
(k), (L), (m), (y) or (z) is guilty of a Class I felony.
(1) The elections commission shall facilitate the removal, no later than the first 20
day of the 3rd month beginning after the effective date of this subsection, from the 21
mailing list maintained under s. 6.86 (2) of each elector who applied for automatic 22
receipt of absentee ballots under s. 6.86 (2) (a) during the period beginning on March 23
12, 2020, and ending on November 3, 2020.
(2) No elector who under sub. (1) is removed from the mailing list under s. 6.86 2
(2) may receive an absentee ballot under that subsection unless the elector reapplies 3
for automatic receipt of absentee ballots under s. 6.86 (2) (a).