2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
ASSEMBLY AMENDMENT 4,
TO ASSEMBLY BILL 203
February 20, 2020 - Offered by Representatives Spreitzer, Hebl, Hesselbein,
Subeck, Pope, Billings, Ohnstad, Doyle, Brostoff and Zamarripa.
42. Page 2, line 5
: delete “either at the polling place or at a central counting 5
location," and substitute “either at the polling place or at a central counting
5.86 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
All proceedings at each central counting location shall be under the 12
direction of the municipal clerk or an election official designated by the clerk unless
the central counting location is at the county seat and the municipal clerk delegates
2the responsibility to supervise the location to the county clerk
, in which case the 3
proceedings shall be under the direction of the county clerk or an election official 4
designated by the county clerk. If for any municipality the central counting location
5is at the county seat and the municipality authorizes or elects the early canvassing
6of absentee ballots under s. 7.525, the county clerk or the county clerk's designee
7shall begin the proceedings for that municipality on the day before the election
8consistent with that section.
Unless election officials are selected under s. 7.30 (4) 9
(c) without regard to party affiliation, the employees at each central counting 10
location, other than any specially trained technicians who are required for the 11
operation of the automatic tabulating equipment, shall be equally divided between 12
members of the 2 major political parties under s. 7.30 (2) (a) and all duties performed 13
by the employees shall be by teams consisting of an equal number of members of each 14
political party whenever sufficient persons from each party are available.
6.15 (4) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) During polling hours, or between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on the day before
17the election if authorized or elected for that election under s. 7.525,
the inspectors 18
shall open each carrier envelope, announce the elector's name, check the affidavit for 19
proper execution, and check the voting qualifications for the ward, if any. In 20
municipalities where absentee ballots are canvassed under s. 7.52, the municipal 21
board of absentee ballot canvassers shall perform this function at a meeting of the 22
board of absentee ballot canvassers.”.
6.86 (1) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) Except as provided in this section, if application is made by mail, 2
the application shall be received no later than 5 p.m. on the 5th day immediately 3
preceding the election. If application is made in person, the application shall be 4
made no earlier than 14 days preceding the election and no later than the Sunday 5
preceding the election. No application may be received on a legal holiday. A 6
municipality shall specify the hours in the notice under s. 10.01 (2) (e). The 7
municipal clerk or an election official shall witness the certificate for any in-person 8
absentee ballot cast. Except as provided in par. (c), if the elector is making written 9
application for an absentee ballot at the partisan primary, the general election, the 10
presidential preference primary, or a special election for national office, and the 11
application indicates that the elector is a military elector, as defined in s. 6.34 (1), the 12
application shall be received by the municipal clerk no later than 5 p.m. on election 13
day. If the application indicates that the reason for requesting an absentee ballot is 14
that the elector is a sequestered juror, the application shall be received no later than 15
5 p.m. on election day. If the application is received after 5 p.m. on the Friday 16
immediately preceding the election, the municipal clerk or the clerk's agent shall 17
immediately take the ballot to the court in which the elector is serving as a juror and 18
deposit it with the judge. The judge shall recess court, as soon as convenient, and 19
give the elector the ballot. The judge shall then witness the voting procedure as 20
provided in s. 6.87 and shall deliver the ballot to the clerk or agent of the clerk who 21
shall deliver it to the polling place election inspectors of the proper ward or election
or, in municipalities where absentee ballots are canvassed under s. 7.52, to 23
the municipal clerk as required in s. 6.88. If application is made under sub. (2) or 24
(2m), the application may be received no later than 5 p.m. on the Friday immediately 25
preceding the election.
6.87 (6) of the statutes is amended to read:
The ballot shall be returned so it is delivered to the polling place 3election inspectors of the proper ward or election district
no later than 8 p.m. on 4
election day. Except in municipalities where absentee ballots are canvassed under 5
s. 7.52, if the municipal clerk receives an absentee ballot on election day, the clerk 6
shall secure the ballot and cause the ballot to be delivered to the polling place serving 7
the elector's residence before 8 p.m. Any ballot not mailed or delivered as provided 8
in this subsection may not be counted.
6.88 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
When an absentee ballot arrives at the office of the municipal clerk, 11
or at an alternate site under s. 6.855, if applicable, the clerk shall enclose it, 12
unopened, in a carrier envelope which shall be securely sealed and endorsed with the 13
name and official title of the clerk, and the words “This envelope contains the ballot 14
of an absent elector and must be opened in the same room where votes are being cast
15at the polls during polling hours on election day or, in municipalities where absentee
16ballots are canvassed under s. 7.52, stats., at a meeting of the municipal board of
17absentee ballot canvassers under s. 7.52, stats only as provided by law
." If the elector 18
is a military elector, as defined in s. 6.34 (1), or an overseas elector, regardless of 19
whether the elector qualifies as a resident of this state under s. 6.10, and the ballot 20
was received by the elector by facsimile transmission or electronic mail and is 21
accompanied by a separate certificate, the clerk shall enclose the ballot in a 22
certificate envelope and securely append the completed certificate to the outside of 23
the envelope before enclosing the ballot in the carrier envelope. The clerk shall keep 24
the ballot in the clerk's office or at the alternate site, if applicable until delivered, as 25
required in sub. (2).
6.88 (3) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) Except in municipalities where absentee ballots are canvassed 3
under s. 7.52, at any time between the opening and closing of the polls on election day, 4or between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on the day before the election if authorized or elected
5for that election under s. 7.525,
the inspectors shall, in the same room where votes 6
are being cast, or in the place where absentee ballots begin being canvassed early
7under s. 7.525
, in such a manner that members of the public can hear and see the 8
procedures, open the carrier envelope only, and announce the name of the absent 9
elector or the identification serial number of the absent elector if the elector has a 10
confidential listing under s. 6.47 (2). When the inspectors find that the certification 11
has been properly executed, the applicant is a qualified elector of the ward or election 12
district, and the applicant has not voted in the election, they shall enter an indication 13
on the poll list next to the applicant's name indicating an absentee ballot is cast by 14
the elector. They shall then open the envelope containing the ballot in a manner so 15
as not to deface or destroy the certification thereon. The inspectors shall take out the 16
ballot without unfolding it or permitting it to be unfolded or examined. Unless the 17
ballot is cast under s. 6.95, the inspectors shall verify that the ballot has been 18
endorsed by the issuing clerk. If the poll list indicates that proof of residence under 19
s. 6.34 is required and proof of residence is enclosed, the inspectors shall enter both 20
the type of identifying document submitted by the absent elector and the name of the 21
entity or institution that issued the identifying document on the poll list in the space 22
provided. If the poll list indicates that proof of residence under s. 6.34 is required and 23
no proof of residence is enclosed or the name or address on the document that is 24
provided is not the same as the name and address shown on the poll list, the 25
inspectors shall proceed as provided under s. 6.97 (2). The inspectors shall then
deposit the ballot into the proper ballot box and enter the absent elector's name or 2
voting number after his or her name on the poll list in the same manner as if the 3
elector had been present and voted in person.”.
47. Page 6, line 1
: after “(b)," insert “at a location where the early canvassing 5
of absentee ballots is being conducted under s. 7.525,".
7.52 (1) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) The governing body of any municipality may provide by ordinance 9
that, in lieu of canvassing absentee ballots at polling places under s. 6.88, the 10
municipal board of absentee ballot canvassers designated under s. 7.53 (2m) shall, 11
at each election held in the municipality, canvass all absentee ballots received by the 12
municipal clerk by 8 p.m. on election day. Prior to enacting an ordinance under this 13
subsection, the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners of the 14
municipality shall notify the elections commission in writing of the proposed 15
enactment and shall consult with the elections commission concerning 16
administration of this section. At every election held in the municipality following 17
enactment of an ordinance under this subsection, the board of absentee ballot 18
canvassers shall, any time after the opening of the polls, or between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
19on the day before the election if authorized or elected for that election under s. 7.525, 20
and before 10 p.m. on election day, publicly convene to count the absentee ballots for 21
the municipality. The municipal clerk shall give at least 48 hours' notice of any 22
meeting under this subsection. Any member of the public has the same right of 23
access to a meeting of the municipal board of absentee ballot canvassers under this 24
subsection that the individual would have under s. 7.41 to observe the proceedings
at a polling place. The board of absentee ballot canvassers may order the removal 2
of any individual exercising the right to observe the proceedings if the individual 3
disrupts the meeting.”.
7.52 (10) of the statutes is created to read:
If, subject to s. 7.525, absentee ballots begin being canvassed under 7
this section on the day before the election, no action under subs. (4) to (8) may be 8
performed before election day.
7.525 of the statutes is created to read:
107.525 Early canvassing of absentee ballots. (1) Ordinance authorizing
11early canvassing; requirements.
(a) 1. The governing body of any municipality that 12
uses automatic tabulating equipment to process absentee ballots may provide by 13
ordinance that absentee ballots received by the municipal clerk may begin being 14
canvassed on the day before the election. Unless the ordinance provides otherwise, 15
the municipal clerk or municipal board of election commissioners may elect to begin 16
canvassing ballots early under this section in any election.
2. Prior to enacting an ordinance under subd. 1., the municipal clerk or 18
municipal board of election commissioners shall notify the elections commission in 19
writing of the proposed enactment and shall consult with the elections commission 20
concerning administration of this section. No ordinance under subd. 1. may take 21
effect unless approved by the elections commission.
(b) Ballots may be canvassed early under this section only between 7 a.m. and 23
8 p.m. on the day before the election and may not be tallied until after the polls close 24
on election day.
(c) Any member of the public has the same right of access to a place where 2
absentee ballots are being canvassed early under this section that the individual 3
would have under s. 7.41 to observe the proceedings at a polling place.
(d) When not in use, automatic tabulating equipment used for purposes of this 5
section and the areas where the programmed media, memory devices, and ballots are 6
housed shall be secured with tamper-evident security seals in a double-lock location 7
such as a locked cabinet inside a locked office.
(e) No person may act in any manner that would give him or her the ability to 9
know or to provide information on the accumulating or final results from the ballots 10
canvassed early under this section before the close of the polls on election day. A 11
person who violates this paragraph is guilty of a Class I felony.
12(2) Notice requirements.
Absentee ballots may not begin being canvassed 13
early under this section for any election unless all of the following apply:
(a) At least 70 days before the election the municipal clerk or executive director 15
of the municipal board of election commissioners notifies in writing the county clerk 16
or executive director of the county board of election commissioners that early 17
canvassing of absentee ballots will take place in the election.
(b) The notice under s. 10.01 (2) (e) specifies the date and time during which, 19
and each location where, the early canvassing of absentee ballots will be conducted.
This act first applies to the August 11, 2020, primary election.”.