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   Last updated Friday, March 03, 2017

2013-14 Election Administration Bills in Wisconsin

The main Senate committee for election bills is Elections and Urban Affairs (EUA). 
3 Republicans: Chair is Mary Lazich (New Berlin).  Vice Chair is Joe Leibham (Sheboygan).  Member: Frank Lasee (Bellevue). 
2 Democrats
: Lena Taylor (Milwaukee) and Mark Miller (Monona)


The main Assembly committee for election bills is Campaigns and Elections  (C&E).
6 Republicans: Chair is Kathy Bernier (Chippewa Falls).  Vice Chair is Don Pridemore (Hartford).  Members: Jeremy Thiesfeldt (Fond du Lac), Chad Weininger (Green Bay), Travis Tranel (Cuba City), Dave Craig (Big Bend). 

3 Democrats
:
Jocasta Zamarippa (Milwaukee),  Terese Berceau (Madison), Fred Kessler (Milwaukee).


The 18 bills below passed both houses and were signed by the Governor (Act 146, limiting early voting, was partially vetoed).  All other bills are dead since the session is over.  Bills that passed one or both houses are in red in the table below.

Act 76 overturns a Madison ordinance that requires landlords to provide voter registration forms to new tenants, and other items.  See section 2.  For history, see SB-179

Act 146 limits in-person-absentee voting.  For history see SB-324.

Act 148  requires clerks to publish results of verification postcards for election day registrants.  For history see SB-377.

Act 149  transfers voter roll cleanup to GAB.  For history see SB-548.

Act 155 allows large municipalities to combine small wards into reporting units.   For history see AB-89.

Act 159 deals with absentee voting at residential care facilities.  For history see AB-396.

Act 160 requires printed names to be on nomination papers.  For history see AB-420

Act 169 repeals statutes on election schedule.  For history see AB-565.

Act 174 100 signatures needed to nominate for citywide office for 2nd & 3rd class cities.  For history see AB-606

Act 176 allows the Board of Canvassers to decide how to count ballots for recounts - either by machine or by hand.  For history see AB-24.

Act 182  forces all registrants to provide proof of residence, even during early registration.  Will cripple voter registration drives.  For history see SB-267.  See GAB interpretation.

Act 373 Declares county clerks as "chief election officer of the county".  For history see AB-613.

6 Bills dealing with pollworkers and their functions:

Act 147  allows pollworkers to be from within the county.  For history see SB-20.

Act 177 allows observers to be within 3 to 6 feet of registration tables or poll book tables.  For history see AB-202

Act 178 eliminates the need to count write-ins.  For history see AB-419.

Act 179 requires overvoted ballots to be duplicated by pollworkers, and to be clearly identified.  For history see SB-262.

Act 180 requires that the chief inspector must seal the ballot bag, along with member of other party.  For history see SB-264.

Act 181 requires that pollworker functions must be by 1 member of each party.  For history see SB-265


Bills introduced    (This list does NOT include campaign finance bills.)

# & Main Sponsor

Status

Subject

Comments

31 Senate Bills
SB-5 Carpenter referred to Gov't Reform 1/31/13 reduce # of legislators No co-sponsors.  Also introduced 2 years ago (SB-35), but never received a hearing.
SB-14 Gudex

 companion to AB-24

 Oct 31 passed by committee 5-0 on Wis Eye. Incorporated into AB-225 and sub to AB-225.

Companion AB-24 passed by both houses

Method of recounting votes.  15 co-sponsors, inc 3 Dems A very good bill.  Would allow Board of Canvassers to decide whether to recount by machine or by hand.  Matches FEW position since 2006.  Supported by Wis Towns Ass.    Public Hearing
April 24, 2013, first 34 minutes on Wis Eye.
SB-20 Lazich Companion to AB-393 Signed by Gov 3-27

Passed by Assembly 56-38 March 20.

 Passed by Senate 17-16 (Schultz) on March 12.

E&UA hearing 9/4/13.

Pollworker residency.  8 co-sponsors.   Incorporated into original AB-225, but not sub amendment. Would allow pollworkers to work anywhere in their county.   Wis Towns Ass. against.  Miller amendment defeated 3-2, revealing that the real purpose is to allow political parties to force municipalities to employ partisan pollworkers from outside the municipality. 

Oct 31 amended and passed by Committee 3-2 on Wis Eye

SB-91 Harris Companion to AB-92 referred to EUA 3/20/13 alternate sites for absentee voting Allows a municipality to have more than 1 site for in-person-absentee voting.  co-sponsored by 39 Dems.  Supported by 6 orgs.
SB-94 Leibham

 Companion to AB-89

Oct 31 Committee passed 5-0 on Wis Eye.  Incorporated into AB-225 and sub.  Oct 31 passes 5-0.  Companion AB-89 passed by both houses. Allows cities over 35,000 to combine wards into reporting units similar to last session's SB-267, except this one has limit that are too tight.  Supported by cities of Milw. & Madison Kevin Kennedy testimony.
SB-114 Harsdorf Companion to AB-128 referred to E&UA April 1 2013.  Incorporated into AB-225, but not sub amendment Recall of local officials limited to those charged with a crime or ethics violation Supported by Wis Builders and Wis Towns Ass.
SB-158 Carpenter referred to EUA April 25, 2013 Allow votes in primary of more than one party  
SB-163 Hansen, Cullen, Schultz companion to AB-185 Referred to EUA April 30, 2013 Redistricting done by LRB 48 co-sponsors, including one Republican.  Press release May 6.  Supported by CC, WDC, Wis farmers Union
SB-173 Risser May 8, 2013, referred to EUA Changes to Act 23 from last session Restore residency to 10 days, and restore early voting until the day before the election.
SB-179  Lasee 12/12/13 signed by governor, now Act 76.  Passed along party lines except Jorgenson voted Yes. Ordinances regarding landlords overturns a Madison ordinance that requires landlords to provide voter registration forms to new tenants.
SB-198 Cullen companion to AB-235 May 23, 2013 referred to EUA.  Nov. 14 most of AB-235 was offered as amendment 5 to AB-54 by 21 Reps, but was tabled 54-39 on a party line vote. allows county clerks to appoint SRD's for the county For info on how you can help, see fairelectionswi.org
SB-261 Lazich Aug 21, 2013 Referred to E&UA Absentee
ballot may not be counted if certificate is missing the witness address.
Was in original AB-225, but not in sub amendment to AB-225
SB-262 Lazich

Substitute amendment is companion to AB-394

Passed by Assembly 1/14/14.   Oct 8 2013 Passed by Senate 22 to 11 requires duplicate ballots (made by poll workers due to defective ballot) to be clearly identified E&UA hearing 9/4/13. Sub amendment passed 5-0 by E&UA  9/12/13
SB-263 Lazich Aug 21, 2013 Referred to E&UA allows election day registrants to be challenged during recount. Was in original AB-225, but not in sub amendment to AB-225
SB-264 Lazich Feb 18 Passed by Assembly 58-38.  Feb 4 C&E passes 7-1 (Zamarripa).

Oct 8 2013 passed by Senate 19 to 14

chief inspector must seal the ballot bag, along with member of other party Also in sub amendment to AB-225, passed by Assembly in June.  E&UA hearing 9/4/13. Passed 5-0 by E&UA  9/12/13.  Jan 23 Assembly Committee hearing
SB-265 Lazich Passed by Senate March 11, voice vote Assembly amends & passes 59-37 (Zamarripa Yes) on Feb 18.  Feb 4 C&E passes 7-1(Zamarripa).

 

Pollworker functions must be by 1 member of each party Also in sub amendment to AB-225, passed by Assembly in June.  E&UA hearing 9/4/13. Passed 5-0 by E&UA  9/12/13.  Jan 23, 2014 Assembly Committee hearing.  Oct 8 2013 passed by Senate 18 to 15, but was later amended by Assembly.
SB-266 Lazich Aug 21, 2013 Referred to E&UA During recount, ballots will be rejected at random if pollworker forgot to have a voter sign the poll book. Was in original AB-225, but not in sub amendment to AB-225
SB-267 Lazich Becomes Act 182.  Passed by Senate 17-16 (Schultz against) March 11. Wis Eye part 3, 12 minute mark to 21 minute mark.

 2/20/14 Passed by Assembly 56-38  but added Assembly amendment 2. 

Ass.Amendment 2: All registrants must show proof of residence.  Type of POR for registration to be recorded.  This was taken from SB-459. AA-2 added after public hearings. Was in original AB-225, but not in sub amendment to AB-225.  E&UA hearing 9/4/13, but key section was not in bill at time of hearing.  Passed with SA-2, 3-2 by E&UA  9/12/13

C&E passes 2/18 6-3.  Jan 23, 2014 Assembly Committee hearing.  Original version Oct 8 2013 passed by Senate 18 to 15

SB-268 Lazich E&UA hearing 9/4/13.  Passed 3-2 by E&UA  9/12/13 Doubles number of candidates to GAB given to Governor Was in original AB-225, but not in sub amendment to AB-225
SB-297 Grothman Companion to AB-396 2/12 E&UA passes sub amendment 3-2.  Companion AB-396 passed by both houses. Early voting at residential care facilities Kevin Kennedy testimony.  Public Hearing 10/3/2013 E&UA.  Senate Amendment 1 makes AB-396 consistent with the substitute amendment to SB-297
SB-324 Grothman companion to AB-54 sub Signed by Gov 3/27 with partial veto.  Passed by Assembly 56-38 March 20. Passed by Senate March 17-16 (Schultz) March 12. Amended March 11. limit early voting Was also in original AB-225.  Oct 31 public hearing.  Appropriations amendment added by Senate on March 11 enables Gov to line item veto.
SB-377 Lazich

 Sub is Companion to AB-690

Signed by Gov 3/27.  Passed by Assembly March 20. 

Passed by Senate voice vote March 11. 

require clerks to publish results of verification postcards for election day registrants sub amendment requires reporting for the November 2014 election.  Oct 31 public hearing  2/12 sub amendment passed by E&UA 5-0.
SB-393 Vukmir companion to AB-420 2/12 passed by E&UA 5-0.  Companion AB-420 passed by both houses. requires printed names for petition or nominee signers Jan 23, 2014 hearing E&UA
SB-404 Lassa Public Hearing Feb 4 by E&UA voting at the entrance to an in-person absentee voting location by an elector with a disability.  
SB-423 Law revision committee Companion to AB-565 Feb 6 passed by E&UA 5-0. Companion AB-565 passed by both houses. Deletes subchapter II of chapter 10, election schedule Public Hearing Feb 4 2014 by E&UA
SB-444 Gudex Companion to AB-606 2/12 E&UA passes sub amendment 5-0. Companion AB-606 passed by both houses. 100 signatures needed to nominate for citywide office for 2nd & 3rd class cities Jan 23, 2014 Hearing E&UA
SB-459 Grothman Companion to AB-603 2/12 sub amendment passed by E&UA 3-2. All registrants must show proof of residence Makes voter registration drive difficult.  Jan 23, 2014 Hearing E&UA.  Added to SB-267 by Assembly amendment 2 #11 on Feb 20, 2014.  See leg council memo.
SB-506 Lazich

Companion to AB-689

Jan 21, 2014 referred to E&UA.  SB-548 (similar bill) passed by both houses. Transfers to the GAB the duty to take non-voting registrants from the rolls.  
SB-548 Lazich

similar to SB-506?

Signed by Gov 3/27.  Passed by Assembly 62-31 March 20. Passed by Senate voice vote March 11.   GAB would take over duty to purge those who don't vote in 4 years. Feb 4 C&E passes 8-0.  Feb 12 passed by E&UA 5-0
SB-616 Harris Companion to AB-687 Feb 18 referred to E&UA deceptive election practices and providing a penalty  
SB-644 Cowles

Companion to AB-613

Ok'd 5-0 by Energy and Gov't Reform March 11. Declares county clerks as "chief election officer of the county" 55 co-sponsors.  If they are the chief election officer, should they train and appoint county-wide SRD's?
LRB-4050/1 Grothman circulating for co-sponsors until March 12 Ends election day registration and thereby activates requirements of NVRA Intended to distract attention from SB-267 and SB 324?
30 Assembly Bills
AB-18

 Pridemore

Public Hearing on Wis eye, C&E 2/26/2013. Part in sub amendment for AB-225 Pollworker residency.   Letter proposing alternate bill. Would allow pollworkers to work anywhere in their county.  Would allow political parties to force municipalities to take pollworkers from outside the municipality. Milw., Madison, and Wis Towns Ass. against
AB-24  Thiesfeldt

 Companion to SB-14

Passed unanimously by Senate March 11.  Passed by Assembly 2/18.  Passed by committee 8-0, 3/12/13.  Incorporated into AB-225 and sub amendment Method of recounting votes.  Public Hearing on Wis Eye A very good bill.  Would allow Board of Canvassers to decide whether to recount by machine or by hand.  Matches FEW position since 2006.  Voters Unite - Opscan problems Letter on AB-24.  Wis Counties and Towns Ass. support.
AB-54

Engrossed - as passed by Assembly

 Stroebel sub is companion to SB-324

Feb 6 E&UA votes against 3 (Lasee, Miller, Taylor)-2.  Nov 14 2013 passed with amendments 1, 2, & 3 by Assembly 53-39-2 (Tranel paired against party).  Companion SB-324 passed both houses

limiting the times for voting by absentee ballots in person.  Oct 9 2013 Public Hearing. 

Eliminates weekend early voting.  Restricts hours to 7:30 to 5, Mon- Fri.  Claims to standardize availability, but only limits.  Racine Journal Times article.  10 orgs against.  Was also in original AB-225.  Public hearing Feb 4th E&UA.  MJS Feb 13, 2014 editorial against.  Petition against
AB-89 Bernier

 companion to SB-94

Signed by Gov 3/27.  Passed by Senate voice vote March 11.  Passed by Assembly 2/18.  Oct 9 Committee OK's amendment 1 and bill 9 to 0 on wis eye.    Allows cities over 35,000 to combine wards into reporting units similar to last sessions SB-267, except this one has limits that are too tight.  Milw supports.   Incorporated into AB-225 and sub amendment.
AB-92

Pasch Companion to SB-91

referred to C&E 3/26/13 Allows municipalities to have multiple locations for early voting supported by 6 organizations
AB-128  Al Ott

Companion to SB-114

Feb 4 committee passes 3-2.  Jan 21 2014 public hearing by Committee on Gov't reform.  Nov 14 2013 passed by Assembly 54-38-2. Recall of local officials limited to those charged with a crime or ethics violation Supported by Wis towns Ass.  Appleton Post-Crescent against. Incorporated into AB-225.  Committee votes on Oct 9 on Wis Eye
AB-185 Wright Companion to SB-163 Nov. 14 2013 Assembly refused to take up 54-39.  Oct 17 referred to new Committee on State Affairs Redistricting done by LRB 48 co-sponsors, including one Republican
AB-202 Pridemore Passed by Senate 17-16 (Schultz) on March 12. Exec March 6, 2014.  Public Hearing March 5 2014 E&UA.  Nov 14 2013 passed with amendment 2 by Assembly 54-39.  Allows observers to be within 5 feet May 17 - Pridemore offers amendment to change bill from 3 to 5 feet.  Oct 9 2013 Committee OK's amendment 2 and bill 6 to 3 on Wis Eye
AB-225 Stone Senate committee hearing Dec 18.  Sub amendment passed by Assembly June 12, 2013   June 4 - 7 hour public hearing on Wis Eye starts at minute 42 See FEW web page devoted to this bill.  Sub amendment includes online voter registration.  June 10 Committee vote on sub amendment on Wis Eye Testimony for Dec 18 Senate committee.
AB-235 Berceau Companion to SB-198 Nov 14 2013: Most of AB-235 was offered as amendment 5 to AB-54 by 21 Reps, but was tabled 54-39 on a party line vote. Allows county clerks to appoint county-wide SRD's For info on how you can help, see fairelectionswi.org
AB-268 Taylor Hearing Jan 28 2014.   Oct 17 referred to new Committee on State Affairs for vacancies in the legislature, elections must be called within 60 days Similar to last session's bills from Pocan/ Shilling.  By coincidence, this was also AB-268
AB-393 Bernier Companion to SB-20 Oct 16 committee ok's amendment 1 and bill 5-4 (Tranel votes against party.) Companion SB-20 passed both houses Pollworker residency.  Oct 9 2013 public hearing Would allow pollworkers to work anywhere in their county.  Would allow political parties to force municipalities to take pollworkers from outside the municipality.  Wis Towns Ass. against SB 20.
AB-394 Bernier Companion to sub amendment SB-262 Oct 16 committee OK's 9-0.  companion SB-262 passed by both houses. Requires duplicate ballots (made by poll workers due to defective ballot) to be clearly identified Oct 9 2013 Public Hearing.
AB-396 Bernier Companion to SB-297 Signed by Gov 3/27.  Passed by Assembly 56-38 with SA1 March 20.   Passed by Senate 17-16 (Schultz) with SA1, March 11. Early voting at residential care facilities Oct 29 public hearing  Nov. 14, 2013 Assembly passes sub amendment 54-39. 

Senate Amendment 1 makes AB-396 consistent with the substitute amendment to SB-297.  2/12  Senate Sub amendment passed by E&UA 3-2. 

AB-418 Ballweg Public Hearing Feb 4 2014 by Senate committee E&UA.

Assembly: Hearing 10/16/13, passed Jan 21 2014 Wis Eye, 1:27 mark, no debate, voice vote.

Increases fee for recounts to $25 per ward Recounts are now free to candidate if difference is less than 0.5%.  Amendment 2 by Bernier would change this to 0.25%.  Oct 29 2013 committee vote 9-0 on Wis Eye (beginning of video)
AB-419 Bernier Passed by Senate voice vote March 11.  2/12 passed by E&UA 5-0.  write-ins not counted unless for  a certified write-in Oct 29 committee vote on Wis Eye    Nov. 14 2013 passed by Assembly voice vote.
AB-420 Jim Ott companion to SB-393 Signed by Gov 3/27.  Passed by Senate voice vote March 11.  Nov. 14 2013 Assembly passes 54-38-2 (paired) requires printed names for petition or nominee signers Oct 29 committee vote on Wis EyeJan 23 Hearing E&UA.   2/12 passed by E&UA 5-0.     
AB-493 Schraa & Born Nov 21 referred to E&UA.  Nov 14 2013 passed with amendment 1 by Assembly vote 54-38-2 (paired) voters can swear to indigence if they have no ID Senate passage doubtful  Nov 6 Public Hearing on WisEye
AB-565 Law revision committee Companion to SB-423 Signed by Gov 3/27.  Senate passes Feb 18.  Passed by Assembly Jan 21 2014 repeals statutes on election schedule Feb 7 passed by E&UA 5-0. 
AB-603 Born Companion to SB-459 Jan 23, 2014 Hearing C&E (20 minute mark) Eliminates open registration.   All registrants must show proof of residence Makes voter registration drive difficult.  Added to SB-267 by Assembly amendment 2 #11 on Feb 20, 2014.  See leg council memo.
AB-606 Thiesfeldt Companion to SB-444 Signed by Gov 3/27.  Passed unanimously by Senate March 11.  Passed by Assembly 2/18. 100 signatures needed to nominate for citywide office for 2nd & 3rd class cities Jan 23, 2014 Hearing C&E.   Feb 4 C&E passes 8-0.
AB-613 Bernier

 Companion to SB-644

Signed by Gov 4/24. Passed by Senate 4/1. Passed by Assembly March 18.  March 6 Passed by State Affairs and Gov't operations 10-3. Declares county clerks as "chief election officer of the county". 55 co-sponsors.  If they are the chief election officer, should they train and appoint county-wide SRD's?  Jan 28 Hearing.
AB-629 Kahl Jan 16 2014 referred to C&E Allow votes in primary for more than 1 party  
AB-687 Barnes Companion to SB-616 referred to C&E 3/3 deceptive election practices and providing a penalty  
AB-689 Thiesfeldt

 Companion to SB-506

Passed by Assembly Feb 18.  Feb 4 Passed by C&E 8-0 transfers duty for purging non-voters to GAB Public hearing Feb 4 2014
AB-690 Thiesfeldt

Companion to sub 1 for SB-377

Assembly passes 2/20.  Feb 4 C&E passes 8-0. Companion SB-377 passed by both houses. Requires clerks to report on results of postcards verifying election day registrations Public hearing Feb 4.
AB-753

Berceau

Feb 11 referred to C&E Online voter registration  
AB-869 Genrich March 14 referred to C&E

responsibility of the GAB to to facilitate the registration of all electors

Includes online registration similar to AB-753.  contains many elements from SB-640 and AB-895 from 2010.
AB-886 Pasch March 25 referred to C&E Felons could vote when out of prison  
AB-897 Hebl Referred to C&E March 31 eliminate gubernatorial approval requirements for administrative rules proposed by GAB  
       
9 Resolutions
AR-6 Kessler Referred to Committee on Assembly Organization 3/6/2013 authorizing the attorney general to file amicus curiae in favor of US Voting Rights Act Assembly refuses to pull from committee 59 to 38, party line vote
AJR-23 Kessler Referred to Committee on Gov't Operations 4/15/2013 competitive criteria for re-districting Constitutional amendment.  similar to last session's AJR-78
SJR-24 Harsdorf Companion to AJR 25 Referred to EUA 4/18/2013 Recalls only allowed for crimes or ethics violations constitutional amendment covering constitutional officers
AJR-25 Steineke

Companion to SJR 24

Feb 4 committee passes 3-2.  Public hearing Jan 21 by Committee on Gov't reform.  Nov 14 2013 passed by Assembly 53-39-2 (Nass votes against party) Recalls only allowed for crimes or ethics violations constitutional amendment covering constitutional officers.  Hearing June 4, 2013 on Wis Eye at the beginning.  Oct 9 Committee votes on Wis Eye
AJR-80 Wachs 2/11 Assembly refused to pull from State Affairs & Gov't Ops committee 59-39. statewide advisory referendum on redistricting  
SJR-83 Shilling Companion to AJR-121 March 13 referred to Gov't Ops

"...every qualified elector of this state shall have the fundamental right to vote ..."

constitutional amendment.  43 sponsors, all Democrats
SJR-86 Cullen March 13 referred to Gov't Ops supreme court justices appointed by Gov. constitutional amendment
AJR-115 Taylor Adopted by Assembly March 20

Commending the 1964 Freedom Summer voter registration campaign.

March 14 referred to Committee on Rules
AJR-121 Riemer Companion to SJR-83 introduced March 25 2014 right to vote constitutional amendment

Contact Paul Malischke about bills to be added, broken links, if the status is not up to date, or with your comments.     

Consumer alert:  This page may reflect the bias of the author J