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State Elections Board

Frequently Asked Questions

This Frequently Asked Questions is being added to all the time. Please check back again for new entries.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1975-01

    Votes cast for an independent candidate cannot be considered to have been cast for a political party for purposes of applying §7.30, Stats. (Issued to Eldon L. Hoel, January 8, 1975)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin
    Act 1 and was reaffirmed on November 11, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 2007-01

    The Elections Board finds that the solicitation of signatures, on a petition that is not related to the election at hand, without any attempt to influence that day’s vote of the voter solicited, is not, per se, “electioneering” within the meaning of §12.03, Stats., and, therefore, not a violation of that statute.

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on June 9, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 2005-01

    A vacancy in the office of municipal judge, caused by the creation of that office by a municipality, is filled on a temporary basis by appointment and on a permanent basis by election at the next spring election following the effective date of the office, if the office takes effect before December 1 and at the spring election following the next spring election if the office takes effect after December 1. (Issued to John Voelker, April 22, 2005)

  • El. Bd. Op. 1995-01

    A vacancy on the Milwaukee Board of Election Commissioners is filled by appointment from a list of nominees submitted by the political party of whom the vacating member was a representative. (Issued to Mark E. Sostarich, May 22, 1995)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on December 17, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1994-01

    A municipality using lever voting machines for an election that includes county, state or national offices or county or state referenda may collect, from the county, a proportionate share of the cost of preparing the ballot for those machines and for the cost of supplies, notices or other materials necessary in preparing or conducting the election, but is not entitled to reimbursement, from the county or state, for a share of the cost of technicians, messengers, tabulators or canvassers employed in that election unless the decision to employ was made by the county or state.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1989-02

    A vacancy on a school board caused by a resignation after a recall petition has been filed with the school district clerk is filled by recall election and may not be filled by appointment by the school board.

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on December 17, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1988-02

    An absentee ballot application should not be denied where it can be reasonably determined from the written information provided that an elector is qualified to vote absentee. (Issued to Mr. Gail Procarione, May 25, 1988)

  • El. Bd. Op. 1986-02

    JOINT NOMINATION PAPERS: the Elections Board will not accept as valid nomination papers that list on one nomination paper the names of all candidates of the same party seeking state office and will not accept party certifications of the names of persons nominated at the party's convention for state office. §§8.l5(1) and (3), Stats. (Issued to Mr. Dennis Boyer, April 30, 1986.)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on February 25, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1981-03

    An incumbent municipal clerk who is running for re-election should not be stationed at the polling place while ballots are being cast. This preserves the integrity of the election, removes the appearance of impropriety and eliminates the opportunity to violate the statutory prohibitions on electioneering. (Issued to Ms. Jesse McKinnon on June 18, 1981)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on June 9, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1981-01

    Questions of elector residence for voting purposes depend on the given facts of a particular situation, taking into consideration the elector's physical presence within the ward or election district and his or her intent to make that their residence for the purpose of voting. (Issued to Ms. Cynthia Tuczynski on January 21, 1981)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on March 26, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1979-01

    The timely filing of a declaration of acceptance, as required under §8.15 (4)(b), Stats., is a condition precedent to the right of a nominee to have his or her name appear on the official ballot. (Issued to Frank J. Bucaida, March 1, 1979)

  • El. Bd. Op. 1976-08

    Petitions under §9.20, Stats., to place an issue on the general election ballot may be circulated prior to June 1 preceding the election. (Issued to Roney L. Sorenson, April 21, 1976)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin
    Act 1 and was reaffirmed on February 25, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1976-09

    Municipal clerks may not leave off the name of the ward when having ballots printed. Candidates may elect not to use their first or middle initials on nomination papers or on ballots. Designations such as “Sr.,” “Jr.,” or “III” may be used on nomination papers or on ballots. (Issued to Harold C. Dobberpuhl, April 21, 1976)

  • El. Bd. Op. 1977-04

    Preparation and distribution of absentee ballot applications by candidates and others is permissible. State election law is not applicable to the question of whether such applications may be accepted by the municipal clerk if they carry political messages. §6.86, Stats. (Issued to Dan A. Ramsey, July 21, 1977)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on June 9, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1977-05

    When a vote is not recorded on a voting machine for an elector who registers to vote on a referendum proposal, and there is no evidence that the absence of a recorded vote for the elector is the result of a machine malfunction, the elector should not be counted among the
    total of votes cast from which the majority necessary for passage of the proposal is calculated. (Issued to William Winch, July 21, 1977)

    This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was reaffirmed on October 6, 2008.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1978-07

    Scope of prohibition on electioneering at or near polling place on election day. Campaign signs placed on public property within 100 feet of the entrance to a polling place on election day are unlawful. Violative signs may be removed from public property. The mere presence of a candidate at or within 100 feet of the polling place is not prohibited, provided that the candidate does not engage in electioneering. Car-top carriers and campaign buttons bearing campaign messages at or within 100 feet of the polling place are prohibited.

  • El. Bd. Op. 1978-14

    Dual nomination: When a candidate wins a partisan primary for an office for which he has filed nomination papers and a declaration of acceptance, and also wins, at the same primary, the party's nomination for another office by write-in votes, the candidate may not choose between the nominations, but must appear on the general election ballot as a candidate for that office for which nomination papers and a declaration of acceptance were filed. §§8.03 (1), 8.35 (4)(b), Stats. (Issued to Fred W. Shaffer, August 17, 1978)

  • El. Bd. Op. 1980-01

    A municipality may use a computer generated listing of students provided by a college, technical institute or university to determine the residence of an elector who desires to register at a polling place on election day, provided that the list, certified by the institute of higher education, in conjunction with some other means of identification meets the requirements of §6.55(7)(a), Stats. (Issued to Mr. Robert M. Meyer, June 19, 1980)

  • El. Bd. Op. 1974-09

    A campaign worker may make an authorized disbursement exceeding $25 in support of a candidate and receive subsequent reimbursement from the campaign fund by negotiable instrument if the disbursement is verified by a receipt. (Issued to James W. Mohr, Jr., September 19, 1974)

  • El. Bd. Op. 1976-03

    A separate, segregated fund may not agree with prospective contributors that their contributions will be given to the party or candidate of their choice. (Issued to M. Scott Cisney, February 18, 1976)

  • An Index of Formal Opinions - Elections

    This is an index of formal opinions by the former State Elections Board on election related issues that have been reaffirmed by the Government Accountability Board.

  • An Index of Formal Opinions - Campaign Finance

    This is an index of formal opinions by the former State Elections Board and Government Accountability Board  on campaign finance related issues.  The document contains a summary of each opinion, and a link to the full text.

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