Under current law, after each general election, the Elections Commission is
required to perform an audit of electronic voting systems used in the election and
take remedial actions if the audit yields an error rate exceeding that which is
permitted under standards established by the Federal Election Commission.
Under the bill, each such audit must be completed no later than November 30
after each general election and must include all of the following:
1. Electronic voting system equipment used in at least four reporting units in
the city of Milwaukee, at least four reporting units in the city of Madison, at least one
reporting unit in each of the 20 other largest municipalities in Wisconsin, and at least
5 percent of the reporting units in all other municipalities combined.
2. At least one piece of electronic voting system equipment used in each county
in the state.
3. At least five reporting units that used each type of electronic voting system
approved for use in the state.
The bill also requires the Elections Commission to promulgate rules that do all
of the following:
1. Establish an error rate for purposes of the postelection audits. The bill
eliminates the requirement that the error rate not exceed that permitted under
standards established by the Federal Election Commission.
2. Establish a process for the postelection audits that provides for the random
selection of reporting units and that, except with respect to audits conducted in the
cities of Milwaukee and Madison and the 20 other largest municipalities in
Wisconsin, as specified above, ensures reporting units are selected for audit from
geographic areas throughout Wisconsin.
Finally, the bill requires the Legislative Audit Bureau to analyze the
postelection audits conducted after each general election and make
recommendations to the legislature for improving the audit process and for
improving the accuracy of voting systems, if it determines that improvements are
needed. The bill requires LAB to submit its report no later than the January 15
following each general election. Under current law, the chairperson of the Elections
Commission, or the chairperson's designee, is required to canvass and certify the
results of the general election on or before December 1 following election.
Printing absentee ballot applications for recounts
Under this bill, in the event of a recount, the municipal clerk is required to print
and make available for purposes of the recount paper copies of all absentee ballot
applications received electronically for the election.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
5.05 (2n) of the statutes is created to read:
5.05 (2n) Resolution of complaints.
(a) The commission shall resolve each 3
complaint received by the commission, including a complaint received under s. 5.06, 4
no later than 60 days after receiving the complaint unless the members of the 5
commission, by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members, approve extending 6
the time for resolving the complaint by an additional period of 60 days. The 7
commission may adopt more than one 60-day extension under this subsection. 8
During the 60-day period, and any extension of that period, the commission shall 9
determine, by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members, whether to dismiss 10
the complaint; initiate an investigation; or grant the relief, in whole or in part, 11
requested by the complainant. If the commission fails to dismiss a complaint by an 12
affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members, the commission shall initiate an 13
investigation or refer the matter to the attorney general or to a district attorney, as 14
provided under this section.
(b) A person who alleges that an action of the commission violated or resulted 16
in the violation of the laws under chs. 5 to 10 or 12 may file a sworn complaint and 17
commence suit in the circuit court for any county where the alleged violation 18
occurred without first filing the complaint with the commission.
5.05 (5e) of the statutes is amended to read:
5.05 (5e) Annual report.
The commission shall submit an annual report under 3
s. 15.04 (1) (d) and shall include in its annual report the names and duties of all 4
individuals employed by the commission and a summary of its determinations and 5
advisory opinions issued under sub. (6a). Except as authorized or required under 6
sub. (5s) (f), the commission shall make sufficient alterations in the summaries to 7
prevent disclosing the identities of individuals or organizations involved in the 8
decisions or opinions. The commission shall identify in its report the statutory duties 9
of the commission administrator, together with a description of the manner in which 10
those duties are being fulfilled. Notwithstanding sub. (5s) and s. 12.13 (5), the
11commission shall also specify in its report the total number of investigations
12conducted by the commission since the last annual report and a description of the
13nature of each investigation.
The commission shall make such further reports on the 14
matters within its jurisdiction and such recommendations for further legislation as 15
it deems desirable.
5.05 (5s) (an) of the statutes is created to read:
(an) No later than 30 days following the resolution of each complaint 18
filed with the commission under sub. (2m) (c) or s. 5.06 or 5.061, the commission shall 19
provide a copy of the full text of the complaint, with all personally identifiable 20
information, as defined in s. 19.62 (5), redacted, and documentation specifying how 21
the complaint was resolved to the representative of the assembly of the assembly 22
district and the senator of the senate district where the violation alleged in the 23
complaint occurred, is occurring, or is proposed to occur and to the cochairpersons 24
of the assembly and senate standing committees with jurisdiction over elections. The
commission shall redact all names of individuals from all copies of complaints and 2
documentation provided under this paragraph.
5.05 (19) of the statutes is created to read:
5.05 (19) Reports of alleged election law violations.
(a) Notwithstanding 5
sub. (5s) and s. 12.13 (5), annually, no later than January 31, the commission shall 6
submit to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature for referral to the appropriate 7
standing committees under s. 13.172 (2) and to the governor a report that includes 8
all of the following:
1. The number of complaints filed with the commission in the previous year 10
under sub. (2m) (c) and ss. 5.06 and 5.061, a description of each complaint, and a 11
description of all actions the commission took to address the complaint.
2. The total number of investigations the commission conducted in the previous 13
year and a description of the nature of each investigation.
3. The number of informal reports, including reports received via the toll-free 15
hotline maintained under sub. (13), of possible violations of election laws, including 16
violations of election laws or other misconduct alleged to have been committed by 17
election officials, that the commission received the previous year. The report shall 18
include a description of each general category of concerns reported to the commission 19
and an explanation of each such category.
(b) Annually, the administrator shall testify before the standing committees 21
specified in par. (a) at the direction of the standing committees concerning the 22
commission's report under par. (a).
(c) The commission shall provide a copy of its annual report under par. (a) to 24
each county and municipal clerk and board of election commissioners.
5.05 (20) of the statutes is created to read:
5.05 (20) Rules regarding reports of election related concerns.
commission shall promulgate rules establishing procedures for the commission's 3
consideration and handling of all formal complaints and informal reports of possible 4
violations of election laws, including violations of election laws or other misconduct 5
alleged to have been committed by election officials, that the commission receives, 6
including reports received via the toll-free hotline maintained under sub. (13).
7.08 (6) of the statutes is renumbered 7.08 (6) (a) (intro.) and 8
amended to read:
(a) (intro.) Following
Complete, no later than November 30 following 10
each general election, an
the performance of each electronic
voting system 11
used in this state to determine the error rate of the system in counting ballots that 12
are validly cast by electors. If the error rate exceeds the rate permitted under 13standards of the federal election commission in effect on October 29, 2002 the rules
14promulgated under par. (b) 1.
, the commission shall take remedial action and order 15
remedial action to be taken by affected counties and municipalities to ensure 16
compliance with the standards those rules
. Each county and municipality shall 17
comply with any order received under this subsection. Each audit performed under
18this subsection shall include all of the following:
7.08 (6) (a) 1. to 3. and (b) of the statutes are created to read:
(a) 1. Electronic voting system equipment used in at least 4 reporting 21
units in the city of Milwaukee, at least 4 reporting units in the city of Madison, at 22
least one reporting unit in each of the 20 other largest municipalities, and at least 23
5 percent of the reporting units in all other municipalities combined.
2. At least one piece of electronic voting system equipment used in each county 25
in this state.
3. At least 5 reporting units that used each type of electronic voting system 2
approved under s. 5.91.
(b) The commission shall promulgate rules that do all of the following:
1. Establish an error rate for purposes of par. (a).
2. Establish a process for audits under this subsection that provides for a 6
random selection of reporting units and that, except with respect to audits conducted 7
in the municipalities specified in par. (a) 1., ensures reporting units are selected for 8
audit from geographic areas throughout this state. The process shall provide that 9
if the commission randomly selects a reporting unit for audit with fewer than 10 10
ballots cast, the commission shall randomly select another reporting unit for audit 11
in that municipality until the commission selects a reporting unit with at least 10 12
ballots cast. Additionally, the process shall provide that the county clerk shall 13
oversee the counting of ballots by hand in connection with the audits as a part of the 14
county canvass under s. 7.60.
9.01 (1) (b) 13. of the statutes is created to read:
(b) 13. The municipal clerk shall print and make available for each 17
recount paper copies of all absentee ballot applications received electronically by the 18
municipal clerk for the election.
13.94 (1) (w) of the statutes is created to read:
(w) Analyse the results of audits conducted under s. 7.08 (6). No later 21
than the January 15 following each general election, the bureau shall submit a report 22
to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2) with its recommendations for improving the 23
audit process under s. 7.08 (6) and for improving the accuracy of voting systems, if 24
it determines that improvements are needed.