2021 - 2022 LEGISLATURE
November 5, 2021 - Introduced by Senators Roth, LeMahieu, Wanggaard,
Bradley, Darling, Felzkowski, Feyen, Jacque, Jagler, Kapenga, Nass,
Petrowski, Stafsholt, Stroebel and Testin. Referred to Committee on
Senate Organization.
SR11,1,3 1Relating to: castigating the Wisconsin Elections Commission for ignoring statutory
2requirements, for sidestepping the administrative rulemaking process, and for
3not following both the letter and intent of state statute.
SR11,1,84Whereas, the Legislature passed 2015 Wisconsin Act 118, which established
5the Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) to administer elections in the State of
6Wisconsin; and under state statute, the commission “has the responsibility for the
7administration of chs. 5 to 10 and 12 and other laws relating to elections and election
8campaigns”; and
SR11,1,139 Whereas, the Wisconsin Elections Commission, under Wis. Stat. § 5.05 (1) (f),
10may “Promulgate rules under ch. 227 applicable to all jurisdictions for the purpose
11of interpreting or implementing the laws regulating the conduct of elections or
12election campaigns, other than laws regulating campaign financing, or ensuring
13their proper administration”; and
1Whereas, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee directed the nonpartisan
2Legislative Audit Bureau to conduct an audit of the 2020 election ensuring
3compliance with state and federal election laws; and
SR11,2,74 Whereas, the Legislative Audit Bureau released its findings and determined
5that the Wisconsin Elections Commission did not comply with state statute,
6administrative rules, and best practices, while performing actions that would have
7required the rulemaking process, including all of the following:
SR11,2,11 8 In regards to verifying municipal clerk training—“ WEC's staff did not comply
9with administrative rules because they did not contact governing bodies if clerks did
10not report having completed the required training for the two-year period that ended
11in December 2019”;
SR11,2,14 12 In regards to election official trainings—“WEC did not comply with statutes
13by promulgating administrative rules prescribing the contents of training for special
14voting deputies or election inspectors”;
SR11,2,17 15 In regards to DOT data sharing agreements—“WEC did not comply with
16statutes by obtaining from DOT the signatures of individuals who register online to
SR11,2,21 18 In regards to the use of municipal absentee drop boxes—“If WEC believes that
19municipal clerks should be permitted to establish drop boxes, WEC's staff should
20work with WEC to promulgate administrative rules to permit clerks to establish
SR11,2,23 22 In regards to keeping accurate data on Wisconsin's voter rolls—“WEC did not
23regularly obtain all types of data from ERIC”;
1 In regards to adjournment while counting ballots—“Written guidance that
2WEC's staff provided to municipal clerks in October 2020 did not comply with
SR11,3,6 4 In regards to special voting deputies in nursing homes—“Written guidance
5that WEC provided to municipal clerks in June 2020 did not comply with statutes”;
SR11,3,8 7 In regards to relocation of polling places—“Written guidance that WEC
8provided to municipal clerks in March 2020 did not comply with statutes”; and
SR11,3,159 Whereas, WEC also served as a conduit for connecting Wisconsin clerks with
10the Center for Tech and Civic Life which poured more than $6 million into local
11election efforts, which bought access to the nonpartisan election administration
12process such as those uncovered in Green Bay that provided outside actors access to
13key information and administrative functions, drove out the sitting city clerk,
14implemented partisan/political campaign turnout strategies, and contributed to the
15undermined trust and faith in Wisconsin's elections; and
SR11,3,1916 Whereas, WEC is entrusted to administer Wisconsin's elections laws and when
17necessary utilize the emergency rulemaking process to respond to unique and
18pressing circumstances, not ignore statutory requirements or emergency
19rulemaking in exchange for expediency or personal policy preference; and
SR11,3,2320 Whereas, Article IV, Section 1, of the Wisconsin Constitution prescribes that
21“The legislative power shall be vested in a senate and assembly,” while state statute
22prescribes the role of the Wisconsin Elections Commission as “the administration of
23laws relating to elections and election campaigns”; now, therefore, be it
SR11,4,3 24Resolved by the senate, That the Wisconsin Senate hereby castigates the
25Wisconsin Elections Commission for ignoring statutory requirements, for

1sidestepping the administrative rulemaking process, and for not following both the
2letter and intent of state statute, actions that represent a move not to administer but
3to unilaterally rewrite state law; and, be it further
SR11,4,9 4Resolved, That the Wisconsin Senate directs WEC to comply with the
5recommendations issued by the Legislative Audit Bureau, as well as the
6requirements promulgated in state statute; and the Wisconsin Senate acknowledges
7that should the need arise, WEC shall promulgate emergency rules or petition the
8Legislature for a statutory change in extraordinary situations, rather than ignore
9these requirements.
SR11,4,1010 (End)