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   Last updated Thursday, March 02, 2017

2015-16 Election Administration Bills in Wisconsin

Act 261 was passed in March 2016: 

MSNBC: "Wisconsin throws up major voter registration hurdle."

Project Vote:  "Bill comes at a high cost."


The main Senate committee for election bills is Elections and Local Government (ELG).
3 Republicans: Chair is Devin LeMahieu (Oostburg).  Vice Chair is Chris Kapenga(Delafield).  Member: Van Wanggaard (Racine). 
2 Democrats
: Fred Risser (Madison) 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 Tyler Vorpagel (Plymouth).  Members: Jeremy Thiesfeldt (Fond du Lac), Cody Horlacher (Mukwanago), Joe Sanfelippo (New Berlin), David Craig (Big Bend). 

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


Bills that passed and became law

Act 2    Audit bureau can see certain GAB records, even if confidential.  For history, see SB-6.  Legislative Council memo.

Act 36     Drastic increase in fees for recounts.  For history, see SB-96.  Legislative Council memo.

Act 37     Various minor election law changes.  For history, see SB-121.  Legislative Council memo.

Act 39     Allows municipal clerks to register voters on Election Day.  For history, see SB-71.  Legislative Council memo.

Act 118     Dismantles GAB.  For history, see AB-388.   For detail, see information memo 15-15 by the Legislative Council.

Act 209     Clerk must respond to absentee request in 1 business day instead of 1 day.  For history, see SB-47.  Legislative Council memo.

Act 229     Term for SRD & Board of Canvassers expires December of odd year.  For history, see SB-391.  Legislative Council memo.

Act 261    Allows online registration.  Eliminates Special Registration Deputies.  Rejects absentee ballots for lack of witness address and for late arrival.  Other miscellaneous.  For history, see SB-295.  Legislative Council memo.  GAB on ramifications for April 2016 election.

Act 356     Sets up a formal and expanded program for victims to utilize a confidential address for voting and other purposes.  For history, see SB-488.  Legislative Council memo.


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

# & Main Author

Status

Subject & Comments

Senate Bills
SB-6 Audit Committee Companion to AB-9 Passed - now Act 2 Audit Bureau can see certain GAB records, even if confidential
SB-47 Harsdorf Companion to AB-58 Passed - now act 209 Clerk must respond to absentee request in 1 business day instead of 1 day.  Hearing 4/9/15 at beginning Wis Eye.
SB-58 Hansen Companion to AB-328 Referred to Judiciary & Public Safety April 23, 2015 Redistricting done by LRB with advisory committee and OK by legislature.  News conference 9/8/15.
SB-63 Carpenter Referred to ELG March 3, 2015 Moves presidential primary to 3rd Tuesday in Feb.
SB-71 Gudex Companion to AB-79 Now Act 39.  Signed by Gov July 1.  Passed by Senate and Assembly 6/9. Passed by ELG April 23, 5-0.  Allow municipal clerks
to register voters on election day.
  Hearing 4/9/15 at 45 minute mark of  Wis Eye
SB-96 LeMahieu Companion to AB-124 Now Act 36.  Signed by Gov July 1, Passed by Assembly June 9.  Passed by Senate 5/6/15 Drastic increase in the fees to candidates for recounts.  Testimony against.  WI Grassroots Network skeptical.  Hearing 4/9/15 at 21 minute mark of Wis Eye
SB-121 LeMahieu companion to AB-164 Now Act 37.  Signed by Gov 7/1/15.  Passed by Senate & Assembly 6/9/15.  Various minor election law changes.   Hearing ELG Thursday April 23, 2015
SB-161 LeMahieu Companion to AB-240 Hearing May 28, 2015 No electioneering near retirement home on the day that Special Voting Deputies are there.
SB-208 Carpenter Companion to AB-288 Referred to ELG July 2 2015 Permits a voter in a partisan primary to split tickets.  Introduced in last session but never had a hearing.
SB-220 Harris Dodd Companion to AB-316 Referred to ELG 7/28/15 Allows 16 and 17 year olds to pre-register to vote.
SB-281 Hansen Companion to AB-379 Referred to ELG 9/30/2015 Automatic voter registration at the DMV; and online registration
SB-294  Vukmir Companion to
AB-388
Passed by ELG committee 3-2, 10/22/15.  Companion bill passed, now Act 118 Re-organizes GAB. Press conference & interviews 10/7/15.  Public hearing 10/13/15 on Wis Eye
SB-295 LeMahieu Companion to AB-389 Sub amendment passed 19-13, by Senate 2/9/16.  Amended and passed 56-38 by Assembly 2/16/16.  Amended version passed by Senate on voice vote 3/15/16.  signed by Gov 3/16/16, now Act 261. eliminates SRD's; authorizes electronic registration.  Joins ERIC CritiquePublic Hearing 10/13/15.  Brennan Center letter Feb 16.  Myths and Facts Feb 16.  Letter of opposition by coalition of 15 orgs.  MSNBC: "Wisconsin throws up major voter registration hurdle."

Project Vote:  "Bill comes at a high cost."  Co-sponsorship memo.

SB-391 Lazich Companion to AB-532 Passed.  Now Act 229.  Passed by Assembly 2/16/16.  Passed by Senate 1/20/16.  Passed by ELG 5-0, 1/14/16. Term for SRD & Board of Canvassers would expire Dec of odd year.  Hearing on Wis Eye at 1:03 on the video 11/23/15
SB-488 Fitzgerald Companion to AB-673 Act 356 Victims can use a confidential address for voting.
SB-533 Wanggaard Companion to AB-723 Referred to ELG 1/8/16 Restrictions on local ID's, and requiring text:  Not OK for voting"
SB-620 Taylor Companion to AB-805 1/22/16 referred to ELG Online voter registration for those with or without a DL or DOT ID.  Co-sponsor memo.
SB-672 Taylor Companion to AB-806 2/1/16 Referred to ELG Joining ERIC for cross-state checking of voting rolls
SB-678 Taylor Companion to AB-907 2/1/16 referred to ELG Allows felons to vote when they get out of prison
SB-711 Risser 2/9/16 referred to ELG Allows 17 year olds to vote in primary if 18 by the next election.
SB-753 Carpenter Companion to AB-975 2/17/16 referred to ELG Prohibits candidate from being on same ballot for two offices
SB-771 Risser 3/3/16 referred to ELG Weekend early voting
Assembly Bills
AB-9 Audit Committee tabled - Companion SB-6 passed - Act 2 Audit Bureau can see certain GAB records, even if confidential
AB-58 Horlacher Companion to SB-47 Sub amendment passed 7-0, May 19.  Companion bill passsed - now Act 209. Clerk must respond to absentee request in 1 business day instead of 1 day.  Hearing April 21, 2015.
AB-79 Thiesfeldt Companion to SB-71 Hearing April 21, 2015.  Companion bill SB-71 passed 6/9/15, now Act 39 Allow municipal clerks
to register voters on election day w/o resolution
AB-124 Ballweg Companion to SB-96 Companion bill SB-96 passed, now Act 36.  Hearing Tuesday April 21, 2015.  Passed by C&E, 5-3, May 19, 2015. Drastic increase in the fees to candidates for recounts.  See AB-418 from last session.   Testimony againstBallweg letter in favor.  Zamarippa amendment May 18.
AB-164 Bernier Companion to SB-121 Companion bill SB-121 passed 6/9/15, now Act 37.  Hearing Tuesday April 21, 2015. Various minor election law changes
AB-189 Jacque Hearing May 19, 2015 Send voter files to Kansas for matching with other states data, looking for duplicates. Democracy 2020 statement.  Lawyers Committee on Civil rights statementLWV
AB-240 Vorpagel Companion to SB 161 Referred to C&E, May 27, 2015 No electioneering near retirement home on the day that Special Voting Deputies are there.
AB-288 Kahl Companion to SB-208 Referred to C&E 7/22/15 Permits a voter in a partisan primary to split tickets.
AB-316 Barnes Companion to SB-220 Referred to C&E 8/26/15 Allows 16 and 17 year olds to pre-register to vote.
AB-328 Spreitzer Companion to SB-58 Referred to C&E 9/3/15 Redistricting done by LRB with advisory committee and OK by legislature.  News conference 9/8/15.
AB-379 Genrich & Berceau Companion to SB-281 referred to C&E 10/8/15 "GAB to use all feasible means to facilitate the registration of all eligible electors".  Includes online registration.
AB-388 Knudson Companion to SB-294 Signed by Gov 12/16/15 with partial veto, now Act 118.  10/21/15 Passes Assembly 58-39, party line vote except for Novak, Petryk & Tranel.  Amended & passed by Senate 11/7/15.  Amended version passed by Assembly 11/16/15 Dismantles GAB.   Press conference & interviews 10/7/15.  Public hearing on Wis Eye 10/13/15.
AB-389  Bernier & Berceau Companion to SB-295 Public Hearing 10/13/15.  Companion bill passed, now Act 261. eliminates SRD's; authorizes electronic registration.  Joins ERIC Critique
AB-472 Wachs Referred to C&E 10/30/15 Those who are required to register with GAB may not be hired by a campaign.
AB-532 Vorpagel Companion to SB-391 Companion bill passed, now Act 229.  11/18/15 referred to C&E.  Companion bill on Assembly calendar 2/16/16. Term for SRD & Board of Canvassers would expire Dec of odd year.
AB-723 Sanfelippo Companion to SB-533 2/10/16 passed by Gov't Operations 10-3.  On Assembly Calendar for 2/16/16. Restrictions on local ID's, and requiring text:  "Not OK for voting"
AB-805 Berceau

Companion to SB-620

1/25/16 referred to C&E Online voter registration for those with or without a DL or DOT ID.  Co-sponsor memo.
AB-806 Berceau Companion to SB-672 1/25/26 referred to C&E Joining ERIC for cross-state checking of voting rolls
AB-907 Goyke Companion to SB-678 2/12/16 referred to Committee on Corrections Allows felons to vote when they get out of prison
AB-975 Zamarripa Companion to SB-753 3/3/16 referred to C&E Prohibits candidate from being on same ballot for two offices
AB-987 Taylor 3/10/16 referred to C&E Money for a public informational 
campaign for voter ID requirements.
Resolutions and Rules
SJR-32 Taylor Companion to AJR-38 Referred to ELG April 23, 2015 Right to vote amendment to Constitution
AJR-38 Riemer referred to C&E May 14, 2015 Right to vote amendment to Constitution
AJR-48 Kessler Referred to C&E 6/29/15 Establish criteria for redistricting
AJR-55 Wachs Companion to SJR-47 Referred to C&E 8/21/15 Advisory referendum on redistricting
AJR-85 Sanfelippo Referred to Urban Affairs 11/9/15 allows county to combine county clerk, register of deeds, & treasurer.
AJR-87 Gannon Companion to SJR-75 12/7/16 referred to C&E Constitutional amendment limits legislators to 12 years in office.
AJR-120 Taylor 3/10/16 referred to Gov't Ops Constitutional amendment for many rights including right to vote
SJR-75 Strobel Companion to AJR-87 referred to Gov't Ops 12/7/15 term limits for legislature & governor
CR14-061 Dept of Transportation referred to Joint Committee on Rules April 24, 2015 Expands the definition of documents that are "unavailable", during an application for a no-fee ID card for voting purposes to include documents that the applicant does not possess and would be required to pay a fee to a gov't agency in order to acquire.

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