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Recall Elections scheduled for May 8th Primary and June 5th General Election

Posted in
High Priority
April 2, 2012
Wisconsin County Clerks
Wisconsin Municipal Clerks
City of Milwaukee Election Commission
Milwaukee County Election Commission
Nathaniel E. Robinson, Elections Division Administrator
SVRS Recall Memo 3-26.pdf39.97 KB

On March 30, the Government Accountability Board ordered recalls for the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and State Senators in Districts 13, 21, 23, and 29. The elections will be conducted on May 8.  Depending on the number of candidates, the May 8th election could be a primary, with a general election on June 5.

The G.A.B. will host a webinar on how the recall elections will be conducted in SVRS on Thursday, April 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  A link to register for the webinar follows:  This webinar will be most useful to municipalities in one of the four State Senate Districts subject to a recall election– other municipalities do not need to attend.

  • All recall elections will be run in the new wards and polling places established in SVRS that resulted from the 2010 decennial redistricting.  The new ward plans continue to be effective, so poll books will be printed and results will be reported based on the new ward boundaries.  This means that voters will not have to switch back to previous wards or polling places, and other special elections held on May 8th and June 5th can be run with the same poll books, ballots, and voting equipment. 
  • The State Senate recalls will be run from SVRS based upon the State Senate Districts in existence since 2002.  2011 Wisconsin Act 43 states that for special elections like recalls, the Act 43 State Senate Districts will not become effective until the November 6, 2012 General Election.  This means that municipalities that voted for State Senators in districts 13, 21, 23, and 29 in 2010 will be a part of the State Senate recall elections.  Municipalities that will be moved into one of these State Senate Districts as a result of Act 43, but were not in that district in the past, will not be a part of the State Senate recall elections.
  • Reporting units for the recall elections do not need to follow Assembly Districts, as this is not a general election.  However, this is a partisan election, so poll books must match reporting units and the way ballots and voting equipment are programmed.  Counties and municipalities are encouraged to work together to determine how the election will be administered.
  • Municipalities or counties that plan to have other contests on the ballot on May 8th or June 5th (such as school referenda) should contact the G.A.B. Help Desk for assistance.
  • Voters in the four State Senate recall elections will be identified in SVRS with a special district combo based on the address where they currently reside.  If the current residential address is inside of the State Senate District in existence since 2002, the voter will be eligible to vote in the State Senate recall contests.  If the current residential address is outside of the State Senate District in existence since 2002, the voter will not be eligible to vote in the State Senate recall contests.
  • Most municipalities inside of the State Senate Districts in existence since 2002 are entirely within the district and will only have one ballot style in the recall elections.
  • A few municipalities are partially inside of the State Senate Districts in existence since 2002, and partially outside of those districts.  Because ward lines have changed, this may mean that some voters in a ward will vote in the State Senate recall contest, and some voters in the same ward will not.  SVRS will generate a different ballot style for these voters, so that on the poll book and absentee ballot label, it will clearly identify which ballot the voter should receive and vote.

Columbia            City of Columbus
Dane            City of Edgerton
Dodge            City of Hartford
Dodge            City of Waupun
Dunn            City of Menomonie
Eau Claire        City of Altoona
Eau Claire        City of Eau Claire
Eau Claire        Town of Washington
Jefferson            Village of Johnson Creek
Marathon            Village of Dorchester
Marathon            Village of Edgar
Marathon            City of Abbotsford
Marathon            City of Marshfield
Racine            Village of Waterford
Waukesha        City of Oconomowoc
Waukesha        Town of Oconomowoc
Wood            City of Marshfield

G.A.B. staff will be contacting these municipalities individually to discuss ballot preparation and procedures for verifying that voters are issued the correct ballots.  

A list of important dates:

  • March 30 – First date to begin circulating nomination papers for recall election. Please refer anyone with a data request for voters or addresses in the recall districts to the Government Accountability Board.  The election will be created in SVRS on this date.
  • April 10 – Filing Deadline for Candidates. 
  • April 13 – Challenge Deadline for Candidates.  The G.A.B. will issue a certification of candidates on the ballot after the 5 p.m. deadline, if there are no nomination paper challenges.
  • April 16 -- The G.A.B. will mark milestone #3 in SVRS.
  • April 17 – Deadline to issue absentee ballots by mail.  In the event that printed ballots are not ready, clerks must send paper ballots to Military voters. 
  • April 18 – Close of Registration.
  • April 23 – Beginning of Clerks Office Absentee Voting.
  • May 8 – Election Day. 

If you have questions on recall election issues, please contact the Help Desk at 608-261-2028, or by email at  Thank you.

cc:    Kevin J. Kennedy
    Director and General Counsel
    Government Accountability Board

    Ross D. Hein
    Elections Supervisor
    Government Accountability Board