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Barish, Lawrence S.; Theobald, H. Rupert (ed.) / State of Wisconsin 1991-1992 Blue Book

Elections in Wisconsin,   pp. [869]-948 PDF (24.8 MB)

Page 875

his or her right to vote or is currently registered to vote at any other
location. A voter's registra-
tion is considered permanent unless the person moves, in which case the voter
must reregister.
Municipalities, however, often cancel the registration of a person who, though
eligible, does not
vote during a 4-year period and does not respond to a written request to
apply for continued
    On election day there are usually 7 inspectors (election officials) for
each polling place. In
 certain cases, the number may be increased or decreased, but no polling
place may have fewer
 than 3 inspectors. Each political party may also appoint 2 observers and
alternates for each
 polling place. Certain candidates and nonpartisan and bipartisan groups
may also appoint ob-
 servers. In addition to party observers, 1989 WisAct 192 created a new statute
section specifically
 providing that nothing in the election laws shall be"....construed
to prohibit any member of the
 public to be present in any polling place for the purpose of observation."
This section does,
 however, authorize removal of any observer who disrupts the operation of
the polling place or
 engages in electioneering in or near the polling place.
   A voter who cannot come to the polling place on election day, either because
of absence from
 the municipality, sickness, handicap, age, disability, military service,
jury duty, or religious rea-
 sons, may vote by absentee ballot. Every request for an absentee ballot
must be made in writing.
 If there was no written application, the ballot cannot be counted.
   When the polls close, the inspectors canvass the votes and deliver a tally
sheet statement and
 poll list to both the county clerk and the municipal clerk. Where an electronic
voting system is
 used, the count may be adjourned to a central location. If a municipality
has more than one
 polling place, the returns from the polling places are canvassed by a municipal
board of canvass-
 ers consisting of the municipal clerk and 2 qualified electors of the municipality
appointed by the
 clerk, except in the City of Milwaukee where the board of election commissioners
serves as the
 board of canvassers. Based on the canvass, the municipal clerk may issue
certificates of election
 to municipal elected officials.
   The county clerk and 2 persons appointed by the clerk constitute the county
board of canvass-
 ers. The appointees must be qualified electors of the county and not of
the same political party.
 This board examines the returns from the municipalities. One statement of
the results is filed in
 the county clerk's office; another, together with a tabulation of votes
cast at each polling place for
 each candidate, goes to the state Elections Board. The county clerk issues
certificates of election
 to county elected officials.
   The Board of State Canvassers, consisting of the chairperson of the Elections
Board, the state
 treasurer, and the attorney general, meets after each election to examine
the certified statements
 of the county canvassers. The board makes a statement of the votes cast
for each office and state
 referendum and determines who has been elected to each office and the outcome
of each referen-
 dum. The Elections Board then issues certificates of election to all persons
elected to a state office.
 The board also issues certificates or prepares certificates for issuance
by the governor to persons
 elected to national offices from this state.
                                     Campaign Financing
   The regulation of campaign financing in Wisconsin was substantially revised
by Chapter 334,
Laws of 1973, with the intent of giving voters complete information about
who is supporting or
opposing which candidate or cause and to what extent. Substantive changes
have been made by
almost every legislature since then. Chapter 11 of the Wisconsin Statutes
codifies current cam-
paign financing regulations.
   Duties of the Elections Board. The state Elections Board serves as the
filing officer for contribu-
tion and disbursement statements for campaigns for state and national offices
and statewide
referenda. To assist candidates and committees, the Elections Board supplies
report forms and
manuals setting forth recommended methods of bookkeeping and reporting. It
maintains a
current list of all reports and statements pertaining to each candidate,
individual, committee, or
group, and prepares special reports. It may include in its biennial report
any statistics it has
compiled about the total contributions and expenditures of candidates and
committees, amounts
in excess of $100 per contributor, and additional data. It investigates violations
of the election
laws and must notify the district attorney, the attorney general, or the
governor of any facts or
evidence it may have that might be grounds for civil action or criminal prosecution.
The board

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