12.11 12.11 Election bribery.
12.11(1)(1)In this section, “anything of value" includes any amount of money, or any object which has utility independent of any political message it contains and the value of which exceeds $1. The prohibitions of this section apply to the distribution of material printed at public expense and available for free distribution if such materials are accompanied by a political message.
12.11(1m) (1m)Any person who does any of the following violates this chapter:
12.11(1m)(a) (a) Offers, gives, lends or promises to give or lend, or endeavors to procure, anything of value, or any office or employment or any privilege or immunity to, or for, any elector, or to or for any other person, in order to induce any elector to:
12.11(1m)(a)1. 1. Go to or refrain from going to the polls.
12.11(1m)(a)2. 2. Vote or refrain from voting.
12.11(1m)(a)3. 3. Vote or refrain from voting for or against a particular person.
12.11(1m)(a)4. 4. Vote or refrain from voting for or against a particular referendum; or on account of any elector having done any of the above.
12.11(1m)(b) (b) Receives, agrees or contracts to receive or accept any money, gift, loan, valuable consideration, office or employment personally or for any other person, in consideration that the person or any elector will, so act or has so acted.
12.11(1m)(c) (c) Advances, pays or causes to be paid any money to or for the use of any person with the intent that such money or any part thereof will be used to bribe electors at any election.
12.11(2) (2)This section applies to any convention or meeting held for the purpose of nominating any candidate for any election, and to the signing of any nomination paper.
12.11(3) (3)
12.11(3)(a)(a) This section does not prohibit a candidate from publicly stating his or her preference for or support of any other candidate for any office to be voted for at the same election. A candidate for an office in which the person elected is charged with the duty of participating in the election or nomination of any person as a candidate for office is not prohibited from publicly stating or pledging his or her preference for or support of any person for such office or nomination.
12.11(3)(b) (b) This section does not apply to money paid or agreed to be paid for or on account of authorized legal expenses which were legitimately incurred at or concerning any election.
12.11(3)(c) (c) This section does not apply where an employer agrees that all or part of election day be given to its employees as a paid holiday, provided that such policy is made uniformly applicable to all similarly situated employees.
12.11(3)(d) (d) This section does not prohibit any person from using his or her own vehicle to transport electors to or from the polls without charge.
12.11(3)(e) (e) This section does not apply to any promise by a candidate to reduce public expenditures or taxes.
12.11 Annotation There are constitutional limits on the state's power to prohibit candidates from making promises in the course of an election campaign. Some promises are universally acknowledged as legitimate, indeed indispensable to decisionmaking in a democracy. Brown v. Hartlage, 456 U.S. 45 (1982).
2021-22 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2023 Wis. Act 272 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on July 9, 2024. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after July 9, 2024, are designated by NOTES. (Published 7-9-24)