The state committee of any party polling less than 75,000 presidential votes in this state in the last election may change the name of the party. The new name may not duplicate that of an existing national party. A certificate of approval by the party's national committee which has been certified by the national committee secretary, the state committee chairperson and the state committee secretary shall be filed with the commission.
The new name shall take effect upon certification.
Every political party entitled, under s. 5.62
, to have its candidates on the partisan primary and general election ballots has exclusive right to the use of the name designating it at any election involving political parties. The commission shall not certify nor the county clerk print the name of any person whose nomination papers indicate a party name comprising a combination of existing party names, qualifying words, phrases, prefixes or suffixes in connection with any existing party name.
See also s. EL 6.04
, Wis. adm. code.
Nomination of independent candidates. 8.20(1)(1)
Independent nominations may be made for any office to be voted for at any general or partisan special election.
Nomination is by nomination papers. Each nomination paper shall have substantially the following words printed at the top:
I, the undersigned, request that the name of (insert candidate's last name plus first name, nickname or initial, and middle name, former legal surname, nickname or middle initial or initials if desired, but no other abbreviations or titles), residing at (insert candidate's street address) be placed on the ballot at the (general or special) election to be held on (date of election) as a candidate [(representing the (name of party)) or (representing the principle(s) of (statement of principles))] so that voters will have the opportunity to vote for (him or her) for the office of (name of office). I am eligible to vote in the (name of jurisdiction or district in which candidate seeks office). I have not signed the nomination paper of any other candidate for the same office at this election.
Each candidate shall include his or her mailing address on the candidate's nomination papers.
In the case of candidates for the offices of president and vice president, the nomination papers shall contain both candidates' names; the office for which each is nominated; the residence and post-office address of each; and the party or principles they represent, if any, in 5 words or less. In the case of candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor, the nomination papers shall contain both candidates' names or the name of a candidate for either office; the office for which each candidate is nominated; the residence and post-office address of each candidate; and the party or principles each candidate represents, if any, in 5 words or less.
Nomination papers for president and vice president shall list one candidate for presidential elector from each congressional district and 2 candidates for presidential elector from the state at large who will vote for the candidates for president and vice president, if elected.
The certification of a qualified circulator under s. 8.15 (4) (a)
shall be appended to each nomination paper.
The number of required signatures on nomination papers for independent candidates shall be the same as the number specified in s. 8.15 (6)
. For independent presidential electors intending to vote for the same candidates for president and vice president, the number of required signatures shall be not less than 2,000 nor more than 4,000 electors.
Only one signature per person for the same office is valid. In addition to his or her signature, in order for the signature to be valid, each signer shall legibly print his or her name in a space provided next to his or her signature and shall list his or her municipality of residence for voting purposes, the street and number, if any, on which the signer resides, and the date of signing. Signers of each nomination paper shall reside in the same jurisdiction or district which the candidate named therein will represent, if elected.
Nomination papers shall be accompanied by a declaration of candidacy under s. 8.21
. If a candidate for state or local office has not filed a registration statement under s. 11.0202 (1) (a)
at the time he or she files nomination papers, the candidate shall file the statement with the papers. A candidate for state office shall also file a statement of economic interests with the ethics commission under s. 19.43 (4)
no later than 4:30 p.m. on the 3rd day following the last day for filing nomination papers under sub. (8) (a)
, or no later than 4:30 p.m. on the next business day after the last day whenever that candidate is granted an extension of time for filing nomination papers under sub. (8) (a)
Nomination papers shall be filed in the office of the commission for all state offices and the offices of U.S. senator and representative in congress, and in the office of county clerk or board of election commissioners for all county offices.
Nomination papers for independent candidates for any office to be voted upon at a general election, except president, vice president and presidential elector, may be circulated no sooner than April 15 preceding the election and may be filed no later than 5 p.m. on the June 1 preceding the partisan primary, except as authorized in this paragraph. If an incumbent fails to file nomination papers and a declaration of candidacy by 5 p.m. on June 1 preceding the partisan primary, all candidates for the office held by the incumbent, other than the incumbent, may file nomination papers no later than 72 hours after the latest time prescribed in this paragraph. No extension of the time for filing nomination papers applies if the incumbent files written notification with the filing officer or agency with whom nomination papers are filed for the office which the incumbent holds, no later than 5 p.m. on the 2nd Friday preceding the latest time prescribed in this paragraph for filing nomination papers, that the incumbent is not a candidate for reelection to his or her office, and the incumbent does not file nomination papers for that office within the time prescribed in this paragraph.
Nomination papers for independent candidates for president and vice president, and the presidential electors designated to represent them, may be circulated no sooner than July 1 and may be filed not later than 5 p.m. on the first Tuesday in August preceding a presidential election.
Nomination papers for independent candidates for any office to be voted upon at a partisan special election shall be circulated and filed as provided in s. 8.50 (3) (a)
Persons nominated by nomination papers without a recognized political party designation shall be placed on the official ballot at the general election and at any partisan election to the right or below the recognized political party candidates in their own column or row designated “Independent". If the candidate's name already appears under a recognized political party it may not be listed on the independent ballot, column or row.
History: 1971 c. 242
; 1973 c. 334
; 1975 c. 369
; 1977 c. 107
; 1979 c. 249
; 1981 c. 377
; 1983 a. 29
; 1985 a. 304
; 1987 a. 391
; 1993 a. 140
; 1999 a. 6
; 2001 a. 109
; 2005 a. 451
; 2007 a. 1
; 2011 a. 32
; 2013 a. 160
; 2015 a. 117
; 2017 a. 366
See also ss. EL 2.09
, and 6.04
, Wis. adm. code.
8.21 Declaration of candidacy. 8.21(1)(1)
Each candidate, except a candidate for presidential elector under s. 8.20 (2) (d)
, shall file a declaration of candidacy, no later than the latest time provided for filing nomination papers under s. 8.10 (2) (a)
, 8.15 (1)
, 8.20 (8) (a)
or 8.50 (3) (a)
, or the time provided under s. 8.16 (2)
or 8.35 (2) (c)
. A candidate shall file the declaration with the officer or agency with which nomination papers are filed for the office that the candidate seeks, or if nomination papers are not required, with the clerk or board of election commissioners of the jurisdiction in which the candidate seeks office.
The declaration of candidacy shall be sworn to before any officer authorized to administer oaths. The declaration shall contain the name of the candidate in the form specified under s. 8.10 (2) (b)
for candidates for nonpartisan office or s. 8.15 (5) (a)
or 8.20 (2) (a)
for candidates for partisan office and shall state all of the following:
That the signer is a candidate for a named office.
That the signer meets, or will at the time he or she assumes office meet, applicable age, citizenship, residency, or voting qualification requirements, if any, prescribed by the constitutions and laws of the United States and of this state.
That the signer will otherwise qualify for office if nominated and elected.
The declaration of candidacy shall include the candidate's name in the form in which it will appear on the ballot.
Each candidate for state and local office shall include in the declaration of candidacy all of the following:
A statement that the candidate has not been convicted of any misdemeanor designated under state or federal law as a violation of the public trust or any felony for which the candidate has not been pardoned.
A statement that discloses the candidate's municipality of residence for voting purposes, and the street and number, if any, on which the candidate resides.
The declaration of candidacy is valid with or without the seal of the officer who administers the oath.
A candidate for state or local office shall file an amended declaration of candidacy under oath with the same officer or agency if any information contained in the declaration of candidacy changes at any time after the original declaration of candidacy is filed and before the candidate assumes office or is defeated for election or nomination.
See also s. EL 6.04
, Wis. adm. code.
A candidate for election to Congress need not be a resident of the district at the time he or she files nomination papers and executes the declaration of intent to accept the office if elected. A candidate for Congress must be an inhabitant of the state at the time of election. 61 Atty. Gen. 155.
Election of state and federal officers. 8.25(1)(1)
By general ballot at the general election for choosing the president and vice president of the United States there shall be elected as many electors of president and vice president as this state is entitled to elect senators and representatives in congress. A vote for the president and vice president nominations of any party is a vote for the electors of the nominees.
(2) United States senator.
One senator to serve in the United States congress shall be chosen at the general election in 1962 and every 6 years thereafter and another in 1964 and every 6 years thereafter.
(3) Representative in congress.
One representative to serve in the United States congress shall be chosen from each congressional district at the general election held in each even-numbered year.
(4) Constitutional officers; terms. 8.25(4)(a)(a)
A governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer and an attorney general shall be elected at the general election in 1970 and quadrennially thereafter. A state superintendent shall be elected on the first Tuesday in April 1917 and quadrennially thereafter.
The regular full term of office of the state superintendent commences on the first Monday of July, next succeeding the superintendent's election.
The regular full term of each other officer enumerated in par. (a)
commences on the first Monday of January, next succeeding the officer's election.
(5) District attorney; term.
A district attorney shall be elected for each prosecutorial unit specified in s. 978.01
at the general election in 2008 and quadrennially thereafter. The regular term of the office of district attorney commences on the first Monday in January next succeeding the officer's election.
Challenge to residency qualifications. 8.28(1)(1)
Any individual who believes that an individual holding or elected to state or local office is not a resident or inhabitant of this state or of the jurisdiction or district in which he or she serves, whenever such qualification is required by the constitution of this state or by any applicable law, may file a verified complaint with the attorney general alleging such facts as may cause him or her to believe that the individual is not qualified to hold office because of failure to meet a residency requirement.
The attorney general may thereupon investigate whether such allegations are true. If the attorney general finds that the allegations of the complaint are true or for any other reason finds that the subject person who is holding or elected to office is not qualified because of failure to meet a residency requirement, the attorney general may commence an action under ch. 784
for a writ of quo warranto to have the subject person's office declared vacant or to restrain any person not entitled to take office from assuming it. In the case of a person who is elected to office in the legislature, the clerk of court shall transmit a copy of the judgment to the presiding officer of the appropriate house, and the house shall determine whether the person is qualified to be seated or whether a vacancy exists.
History: 1979 c. 249
; 1983 a. 484
Candidates ineligible for ballot placement. 8.30(1)(1)
Except as otherwise provided in this section, the official or agency with whom declarations of candidacy are required to be filed may refuse to place the candidate's name on the ballot if any of the following apply:
The nomination papers are not prepared, signed, and executed as required under this chapter.
It conclusively appears, either on the face of the nomination papers offered for filing, or by admission of the candidate or otherwise, that the candidate is ineligible to be nominated or elected.
The candidate, if elected, could not qualify for the office sought within the time allowed by law for qualification because of age, residence, or other impediment.
If no registration statement has been filed by or on behalf of a candidate for state or local office in accordance with s. 11.0202 (1) (a)
by the applicable deadline for filing nomination papers by such candidate, or the deadline for filing a declaration of candidacy for an office for which nomination papers are not filed, the name of the candidate may not appear on the ballot. This subsection may not be construed to exempt a candidate from applicable penalties if he or she files a registration statement later than the time prescribed in s. 11.0202 (1) (a)
The official or agency with whom nomination papers and declarations of candidacy are required to be filed shall not place a candidate's name on the ballot if the candidate's name is ineligible for ballot placement under s. 5.05 (2m) (d) 2.
, 15.61 (3)
, or 19.49 (2) (c) 2.
The official or agency with whom declarations of candidacy are required to be filed may not place a candidate's name on the ballot if the official or agency is prohibited from doing so under s. 19.43 (4)
or an ordinance adopted under s. 19.59 (3) (b)
The official or agency with whom a declaration of candidacy is required to be filed may not place a candidate's name on the ballot if the candidate fails to file a declaration of candidacy within the time prescribed under s. 8.21
See also ss. EL 2.09
, Wis. adm. code.
A petitioner who timely filed with the county clerk rather than with the State Elections Board under former s. 8.10 (6) (a), 1975 stats., was barred from the ballot. State ex rel. Ahlgrimm v. State Elections Board, 82 Wis. 2d 585
, 263 N.W.2d 152
Vacancies after nomination. 8.35(1)(1)
Any person who files nomination papers and qualifies to appear on the ballot may not decline nomination. The name of that person shall appear upon the ballot except in case of death of the person. A person who is appointed to fill a vacancy in nomination or who is nominated by write-in votes is deemed to decline nomination if he or she fails to file a declaration of candidacy within the time prescribed under sub. (2) (c)
or s. 8.16 (2)
If a vacancy occurs after nomination due to the death of a candidate of a recognized political party for a partisan office, the vacancy may be filled by the chairperson of the committee of the proper political party under s. 7.38
, or the candidate committee, if any, in the case of independent candidates. Similar vacancies in nominations of candidates for nonpartisan local offices may be filled by a candidate committee or, if there is none, by the body which governs the local governmental unit in which the deceased person was a candidate for office. The chairperson, chief officer of the candidate committee, or clerk of the body making an appointment shall file a certificate of appointment with the official or agency with whom declarations of candidacy for the office are filed. For purposes of this paragraph, the official or agency need not recognize members of a candidate committee whose names were not filed under s. 11.0203 (1) (c)
prior to the death of the candidate.
If a vacancy in nomination occurs due to the death of a candidate, the officer or agency with whom nomination papers are filed for the office shall promptly notify the chairperson, committee or body, if any, that the vacancy may be filled within 4 days of the date of the notice, as shown by the postmark if the notice is mailed. The chairperson, committee or body may file a sworn certificate of nomination with the official or agency within the 4-day period.
The official or agency with whom a proper certificate is filed under par. (b)
shall promptly notify the candidate who is nominated and transmit to the candidate a declaration of candidacy form and, in the case of a candidate for state or local office, a registration statement form under s. 11.0203 (1)
. No later than 5 p.m. on the 3rd day after notification of nomination is mailed or personally delivered to the new nominee by the official or agency, the nominee shall file a declaration of candidacy and, in the case of a candidate for state or local office, a registration statement under s. 11.0203 (1)
. No later than 4:30 p.m. on the 3rd day after notification of nomination is mailed or personally delivered to a new nominee for state office or municipal judge by the official or agency, the nominee shall file a statement of economic interests under s. 19.43 (4)
. If the nominee fails to file the declaration of candidacy, the official or agency may refuse to place the candidate's name on the ballot. If the nominee fails to file the registration statement or statement of economic interests, the official or agency may not place the candidate's name on the ballot.
If the ballots have been prepared, the committees or body filling the vacancy shall supply stickers as provided under s. 7.38 (3)
. No vacancy in a nomination occurs prior to the time of the primary election for an office, unless no primary is required for the office for which the nomination is made.
This subsection does not apply in the event of the death of a candidate for nonpartisan office who has no opponent appearing on the election ballot.
Whenever a nominee dies after the election ballots are prepared, and no nomination is made under this section, the votes cast for the deceased shall be counted and returned. If he or she receives a plurality of the votes cast, the vacancy shall be filled as in the case of a vacancy occurring by death after election.
When a candidate is appointed to fill a vacancy under this section, the funds remaining in the former candidate's depository after payment of the former candidate's lawful campaign debts, if any, shall be:
Donated to the former candidate's local or state political party if the former candidate was a partisan candidate or donated to the charitable organization of the former candidate's choice or the charitable organization chosen by the former candidate's next of kin if the former candidate is deceased, or if no choice is made returned to the donors on a proportional basis; or
If the former candidate was a nonpartisan candidate, donated to the charitable organization of the former candidate's choice or the charitable organization chosen by the former candidate's next of kin if the former candidate is deceased; or
If no choice is made, returned to the donors on a proportional basis, with contributions which cannot be identified donated in accordance with subd. 1. a.
A petitioner or personal representative may make the choice under subd. 1. a.
where subd. 1. c.
The treasurer of the former candidate's committee shall submit to the appropriate filing officer a special report detailing the disposition of funds under par. (a) 1.
If the former candidate is deceased and was serving as the treasurer of his or her own campaign committee, the former candidate's petitioner or personal representative shall file the report. The report shall include a complete statement of all contributions, disbursements, and incurred obligations, pursuant to s. 11.0204 (1)
, covering the period from the day after the last date covered on the former candidate's most recent report to the date of disposition.
The newly appointed candidate shall file his or her report at the next appropriate interval under s. 11.0204
after his or her appointment. The appointed candidate shall include any transferred funds in his or her first report.
Circuit judge is a nonpartisan state office. A vacancy due to the death of a circuit court judge candidate may not be filled under sub. (2). Committee to Retain Judge Byers v. Elections Board, 95 Wis. 2d 632
, 291 N.W.2d 616
(Ct. App. 1980).
Filing of referenda petitions or questions.
Unless otherwise required by law, all proposed constitutional amendments and any other measure or question that is to be submitted to a vote of the people, or any petitions requesting that a measure or question be submitted to a vote of the people, if applicable, shall be filed with the official or agency responsible for preparing the ballots for the election no later than 70 days prior to the election at which the amendment, measure or question will appear on the ballot. No later than the end of the next business day after a proposed measure is filed with a school district clerk under this section, the clerk shall file a copy of the measure or question with the clerk of each county having territory within the school district.