(2m) Operation of alternate absentee ballot site.
In a municipality in which the governing body has elected to establish an alternate absentee ballot site under s. 6.855
, the municipal clerk shall operate such site as though it were his or her office for absentee ballot purposes and shall ensure that such site is adequately staffed.
(3) Ballot supply; sample ballots. 7.15(3)(a)
Where voting machines are used or where electronic voting systems are employed, the municipal clerk shall provide at least 2 duplicate sample ballots for each ward in diagram form showing the board or screen inside each voting machine or the front of each ballot as it will appear in the voting machines or booths on election day.
Sample ballots and voting machine ballots shall be furnished to the officials in the ward or election district at least one day before each election.
(4) Recording electors.
Except as authorized in s. 6.33 (5) (a)
, within 30 days after each election, the municipal clerk shall enter on the registration list under the name of each elector of the municipality who has voted at the election an indication of the date of the election in which the elector voted.
(5) Record of ballots received.
Each municipal clerk shall keep a record of when and in what condition the packages containing the ballots were received from the county clerk. The municipal clerk shall deliver to the proper officials the unopened packages of ballots the day before the election.
The municipal clerk shall provide substitute paper ballots in substantially the form of the original ballots whenever the necessary original ballots are not delivered to the municipality, are destroyed, are lost or stolen after delivery, are not ready for distribution or the supply is exhausted during polling hours. The municipal clerk may also provide substitute paper ballots, together with ballot boxes and voting booths, whenever a voting machine or electronic voting system is rendered inoperable by a malfunction which occurs within 24 hours of the time set for opening of the polls. Paper ballots may be cast only in accordance with the procedures prescribed in ss. 6.80 (2)
and 7.37 (4)
Upon receiving the substitute paper ballots accompanied by a statement made under oath by the municipal clerk that the ballots have been prepared and furnished by the clerk to replace the original ballots which are not available, or to substitute for a voting machine or electronic voting system which has been rendered inoperable by a malfunction which occurred within 72 hours of the time set for opening of the polls, the election officials shall use the substitute ballots in the same manner as if they had been original ballots.
(7) Request canvass assistance.
The municipal clerk may request all election officials to assist the inspectors in canvassing the votes received at the respective polling places.
(8) Resolving notice doubts.
When in doubt as to compliance with the statutory requirements for election notices or the correct fees to be paid for them, the municipal clerk may consult the commission.
(9) Voter education.
Each municipal clerk shall assist the commission in conducting educational programs under s. 5.05 (12)
to inform electors about the voting process.
(10) Free election information exchange.
Each municipal clerk shall assist the commission in maintaining toll-free telephone lines and any other free access systems under s. 5.05 (13)
for exchange of voting information.
(11) Training of election officials.
Each municipal clerk shall train election officials under ss. 7.31
(12) Free vote counting information.
Each municipal clerk shall maintain a free access information system under which an elector who votes under s. 6.96
may ascertain current information concerning whether the elector's vote has been counted, and if the vote will not be counted, the reason that it will not be counted.
(13) Information to commission.
Each municipal clerk shall provide to the commission any information requested under s. 5.05 (14)
(14) Voting accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
Each municipal clerk shall make reasonable efforts to comply with requests for voting accommodations made by individuals with disabilities whenever feasible.
(15) Provide notice of outstanding provisional ballots.
As soon as possible after the closing hour for all polling places in the municipality on election night, the municipal clerk shall post at his or her office and on the Internet at a site announced by the clerk before the polls open, and shall make available to any person upon request, a statement of the number of electors who have cast provisional ballots at the election in the municipality that cannot be counted as of that closing hour because the electors have not satisfied relevant voting requirements.
Board of election commissioners. 7.20(1)(1)
A municipal board of election commissioners shall be established in every city over 500,000 population. A county board of election commissioners shall be established in every county over 750,000 population.
Each board of election commissioners shall consist of 3 members, each member being chosen from lists of at least 3 names each, selected and approved by the county committee of the 2 political parties receiving the most votes for governor in the county in the case of the county board of election commissioners, and receiving the most votes for governor in the city in the case of the city board of election commissioners, in the last general election. The county executive, for the county board of election commissioners, shall select from the list 2 persons from the majority party and one person from the next highest party in the county. The mayor, for the city board of election commissioners, shall select from the list 2 persons from the majority party and one person from the next highest party in the city.
The persons chosen shall be qualified electors and residents of the state and county and, for the city board of election commissioners, of the city.
Before beginning their duties as election commissioners each appointee shall take and file the official oath.
Each board of election commissioners shall choose its own chairperson. An act of a majority of the board is an act of the board.
The election commissioners shall not hold any other public office and are ineligible for any appointive or elective public office, except the office of notary public, during their term.
The term of office shall be 4 years, and until successors have been commissioned and qualified, beginning on July 1 each year following a presidential election. Successors shall be appointed the same way.
Election commissioners, duties and regulations. 7.21(1)(1)
All powers and duties assigned to the municipal or county clerk or the municipal or county board of canvassers under chs. 5
shall be carried out by the municipal or county board of election commissioners or its executive director, unless specifically retained or assigned in this section or s. 7.22
The county clerk shall serve as executive director of the county board of election commissioners. The clerk shall perform whatever duties the board of election commissioners assigns to him or her. An executive director of the city board of election commissioners shall be appointed under s. 62.51
The board of election commissioners is authorized to employ additional clerical assistants to carry out its necessary duties. The assistants' salaries shall be fixed by the governing body of the municipality or county.
The board of election commissioners may procure a seal to authenticate official papers and documents.
The city council and county board shall provide office space in the city hall and county courthouse, respectively, pay all the necessary expenses, cooperate with the board of election commissioners, provide storage space for the election equipment and supplies and assist with the moving and conducting of the elections as necessary.
Municipal board of election commissioners. 7.22(1)(1)
The common council shall determine the salaries of the election commissioners and shall include sufficient funds in its budget to allow the municipal board of election commissioners to fulfill its duties.
All expenses shall be paid upon order of the municipal board of election commissioners, signed by the chairperson and executive director and countersigned by the city comptroller. The orders, made payable to persons in whose favor issued, shall be the vouchers for the city treasurer for the payment of the orders.
The municipal board of election commissioners shall prepare and furnish copies of all registrations, books, maps, instructions, and forms pertaining to the rules for registration and conducting elections for the use and guidance of the election officials.
The municipal board of election commissioners shall compile and publish a biennial report, containing election statistics and returns of all primaries and elections held within their city and county. Copies of the same shall be distributed to persons in such quantities as the municipal board of election commissioners deems proper.
The chief of police shall station a police officer at polling places designated by the municipal board of election commissioners for each election.
Destruction of election materials. 7.23(1)(1)
All materials and supplies associated with an election, except as provided in sub. (2)
, may be destroyed according to the following schedule:
Except as provided in par. (am)
, unused materials after an election and the contents of the blank ballot box after a primary may be destroyed at a time and in a manner designated by the appropriate clerk.
Unused ballots may be discarded or destroyed no earlier than the day after the latest day for the filing of a petition for a recount under s. 9.01
for any office on the ballots.
Registration forms of electors whose registrations are changed to ineligible status under s. 6.50 (7)
may be destroyed 4 years after the change, unless an elector becomes eligible again during that period.
Financial reports may be destroyed 6 years after the date of receipt. Financial registration statements may be destroyed 6 years after termination of registration.
Poll lists created for any election may be destroyed 22 months after the election at which they were created.
Except as authorized in par. (g)
, ballots, applications for absentee ballots, registration forms, or other records and papers requisite to voting at any federal election, other than registration cards, may be destroyed after 22 months.
Detachable recording units and compartments for use with tabulating equipment for an electronic voting system may be cleared or erased 14 days after any primary and 21 days after any other election. Before clearing or erasing the units or compartments, a municipal clerk shall transfer the data contained in the units or compartments to a disk or other recording medium which may be erased or destroyed 22 months after the election to which the data relates. The requirement to transfer data does not apply to units or compartments for use with tabulating equipment for an electronic voting system that was approved for use prior to January 1, 2009, and that is not used in a federal election.
Except as provided in par. (f)
, ballots may be destroyed 30 days after any election.
Official canvasses may be destroyed 10 years after the election to which they relate.
Election notices, and proofs of publication and correspondence filed in connection with such notices may be destroyed one year after the date of the election to which they relate.
All other materials and supplies associated with an election may be destroyed 90 days after the election.
If a recount is pending or if the time allowed for filing a recount petition at any election or an appeal or petition for review of any recount determination or decision at an election has not expired, no materials may be destroyed until after the recount is completed and the applicable time period has expired. In addition, if there is litigation pending with respect to a recount at an election, materials may be destroyed and recording units or compartments may be cleared or erased only by order of the court in which litigation is pending. Upon petition of the attorney general or a district attorney or U.S. attorney for the affected jurisdiction, a circuit judge for the affected jurisdiction may order that specified materials not be destroyed or that specified recorders, units or compartments not be cleared or erased as otherwise authorized under this subsection until the court so permits.
Title to election materials.
The filing of a nomination paper, ballot application, financial report, affidavit, or other form or statement with the appropriate official or agency responsible for accepting such materials under chs. 5
irrevocably transfers the legal title to such official or agency, regardless of the sufficiency of the filing. The official or agency shall retain all election materials until destruction or other disposition is authorized under s. 7.23
History: 1975 c. 93
; 1979 c. 89
Voting machine officials' duties. 7.25(1)(1)
The municipal clerk of each municipality in which voting machines are used is responsible for the proper ballot being placed on each machine, the sample ballots, setting, adjusting, and putting the machine in order to use in voting when delivered to the ward. For the purpose of labeling, setting, adjusting and putting the voting machines in order, one or more competent voting machine custodians may be employed.
Under the direction of the municipal clerk, the custodian shall label or insert, set, adjust, put in order and deliver the machines with all necessary furniture and appliances to the rooms where the election will be held for each ward at least one hour before the time set for opening the polls on election day.
In preparing a voting machine for an election according to the directions furnished, the custodian shall arrange the machine and ballot so both will meet all the requirements for voting and counting the election in the manner provided for in machine construction.
When a voting machine is properly prepared for an election and delivered to the election ward, it shall be locked and sealed against any movement and the governing body or board of election commissioners shall provide proper protection to prevent tampering with the machines. The custodians preparing the machines shall deliver the keys for the machines to the municipal clerk or executive director of the board of election commissioners together with a written report of each machine's condition.
Before an election each election official serving at a polling place where voting machines are used shall be instructed in their use and their duties in connection with them by the municipal clerk, who shall call as many meetings to give instructions to the election officials as are necessary. Officials and trainees may be compensated for attendance. Any person who does not understand the machines shall not be paid nor be allowed to serve.
Where voting machines are used, the election officials for each ward shall meet at their proper polling place at least 15 minutes before the time set for opening of the polls to arrange the voting machines and furniture to properly conduct the election.
Before opening the polls, the election officials shall do all of the following:
Compare the ballots on the machines with the sample ballots furnished by the municipal clerk to ensure that the names, numbers, and letters on the machine ballots and sample ballots agree.
Examine the seal on each machine to see that the seal has not been broken.
Examine the counter on each machine to see that each counter registers 000.
If any counter on any machine does not register 000, the counter number and the number showing on the counter shall be recorded, signed by all the election officials, and a copy shall be conspicuously posted by the inspectors at the polling place during polling hours.
After the inspection under par. (b)
, on the forms furnished, the election officials shall certify the condition of each voting machine and its counters. Each form shall be signed by each election official. After the election, one copy of each machine's certification shall be delivered with each copy of the election returns.
Appointment of election officials. 7.30(1)(a)(a)
Except as authorized under par. (b)
, there shall be 7 inspectors for each polling place at each election. Except as authorized in par. (b)
, in municipalities where voting machines are used, the municipal governing body may reduce the number of inspectors to 5. A municipal governing body may provide for the appointment of additional inspectors whenever more than one voting machine is used or wards are combined under s. 5.15 (6) (b)
. A municipal governing body may provide by ordinance for the selection of alternate officials or the selection of 2 or more sets of officials to work at different times on election day, and may permit the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners to establish different working hours for different officials assigned to the same polling place. Alternate officials shall also be appointed in a number sufficient to maintain adequate staffing of polling places. Except for inspectors who are appointed under par. (b)
and officials who are appointed without regard to party affiliation under sub. (4) (c)
, additional officials shall be appointed in such a manner that the total number of officials is an odd number and the predominant party under sub. (2)
is represented by one more official than the other party.
Each municipality may appoint one additional inspector to serve at each polling place without regard to party affiliation who shall serve as a greeter to answer questions and to direct electors to the proper locations for registration and voting and who shall be available to substitute for other election officials who must leave the room during the voting process.
(2) Qualifications and procedure. 7.30(2)(a)
Only election officials appointed under this section or s. 6.875
may conduct an election. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph and in ss. 7.15 (1) (k)
and 7.52 (1) (b)
, each election official shall be a qualified elector of a county in which the municipality where the official serves is located, and each chief inspector shall be a qualified elector of the municipality in which the chief inspector serves. If no qualified candidate for chief inspector is available or if the chief inspector is appointed to fill a vacancy under par. (b)
, the person so appointed need not be a qualified elector of the municipality. If a municipal clerk or deputy clerk is appointed to fill a vacancy under par. (b)
, the clerk or deputy clerk need not be a resident of the county, but shall be a resident of the state. No more than 2 individuals holding the office of clerk or deputy clerk may serve without regard to county residency in any municipality at any election. All officials appointed under this section shall be able to read and write the English language, be capable, and be of good understanding, and may not be a candidate for any office to be voted for at an election at which they serve. An individual holding a local public office, as defined in s. 19.42 (7w)
, may be appointed to serve as an election official under this section without having to vacate the local public office. In 1st class cities, they may hold no public office other than notary public. Except as authorized under subs. (1) (b)
and (4) (c)
, all inspectors shall be affiliated with one of the 2 recognized political parties which received the largest number of votes for president, or governor in nonpresidential general election years, in the ward or combination of wards served by the polling place at the last election. Excluding the inspector who may be appointed under sub. (1) (b)
, the party which received the largest number of votes is entitled to one more inspector than the party receiving the next largest number of votes at each polling place. Whenever 2 or more inspectors are required to perform a function within a polling place and both parties that are entitled to submit nominees have done so, the chief inspector shall assign, insofar as practicable, an equal number of inspectors from the nominees of each party.
Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, a pupil who is 16 or 17 years of age and who is enrolled in grades 9 to 12 in a public or private school or in a tribal school, as defined in s. 115.001 (15m)
, may serve as an inspector at the polling place serving the pupil's residence, with the approval of the pupil's parent or guardian. Any pupil who has at least a 3.0 grade point average or the equivalent may serve. In addition, a school board, governing body of a private school, as defined in s. 115.001 (3d)
, or tribal school may establish criteria for service by a pupil who does not have at least a 3.0 grade point average or the equivalent. A pupil may serve as an inspector at a polling place under this paragraph only if at least one election official at the polling place other than the chief inspector is a qualified elector of this state. No pupil may serve as chief inspector at a polling place under this paragraph. Before appointment by any municipality of a pupil as an inspector under this paragraph, the municipal clerk shall obtain written authorization from the pupil's parent or guardian for the pupil to serve for the election for which he or she is appointed. In addition, if a pupil does not have at least a 3.0 grade point average or the equivalent, the municipal clerk shall obtain written certification from the principal of the school where the pupil is enrolled that the pupil meets any criteria established by the school board or governing body for service as an inspector. Upon appointment of a pupil to serve as an inspector, the municipal clerk shall notify the principal of the school where the pupil is enrolled of the name of the pupil and the date of the election at which the pupil has been appointed to serve.
When a vacancy occurs in an office under this section, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment of the municipal clerk. Unless the vacancy occurs in the position of an inspector appointed under sub. (1) (b)
, the vacancy shall be filled from the remaining names on the lists submitted under sub. (4)
or from additional names submitted by the chairperson of the county party committee of the appropriate party under sub. (4)
whenever names are submitted under sub. (4) (d)
. If the vacancy is due to candidacy, sickness or any other temporary cause, the appointment shall be a temporary appointment and effective only for the election at which the temporary vacancy occurs. The same qualifications that applied to original appointees shall be required of persons who fill vacancies except that if a municipal clerk or deputy clerk fills the vacancy, the clerk or deputy, but not more than a total of 2 individuals in any municipality, may serve without regard to the clerk's or deputy's county of residence, if the clerk or deputy meets the other qualifications.
The governing body of any municipality may require all persons serving as election officials to prove their ability to read and write English and to have a general knowledge of the election laws. Examinations may be given to prove the qualifications can be met. The municipal clerk shall ensure that all training meets the training requirements prescribed in rules promulgated by the commission under ss. 7.31
Not less than 30 days before any election the governing body or board of election commissioners of any municipality, by resolution, may authorize the municipal clerk or executive director of the board of election commissioners to select and employ tabulators for any election. Such authorization applies to the elections specified in the resolution, and if not specified, applies until the authorization is modified or revoked.
The tabulators shall assist and be under the direction of the election inspectors after the close of the polls.
Except in cities where there is a board of election commissioners, the mayor, president or board chairperson of each municipality shall nominate to the governing body no later than their last regular meeting in December of each odd-numbered year the necessary election officials for each polling place and any election officials required under s. 7.52 (1) (b)
. If no regular meeting is scheduled, the mayor, president or chairperson shall call a special meeting for the purpose of considering nominations no later than December 31.