Governor Scott Walker signed several elections-related bills into law today. We want to emphasize that these new laws will not affect the 2014 Spring Election on April 1, 2014. The Governor will likely sign several other bills into law sometime after the election. G.A.B. Staff is working on a detailed summary of how each of these new laws will change election administration and how clerks, election inspectors, and the G.A.B. will implement these new laws. Again, it is important to emphasize that, because of their subject matter or their effective dates, none of these new laws will affect the 2014 Spring Election on April 1, 2014. Below is a brief summary of the general subject of each bill signed into law today.
- Assembly Bill 89 allows the governing body of municipalities with a population of 35,000 or more to combine election returns of wards with a population of 20 or less with an adjacent ward.
- Assembly Bill 396 changes requirements related to Special Voting Deputies.
- Assembly Bill 420 requires those who sign nomination papers or petitions to provide their legible printed name. This will be required of candidates for the fall elections.
- Assembly Bill 565 removes the elections calendar from Wisconsin Statutes. G.A.B. will continue to provide an elections calendar.
- Assembly Bill 606 lowers the nomination signature requirement for citywide aldermanic candidates in second and third class cities to between 100 and 200 electors.
- Senate Bill 20 changes the general requirement for election inspector residency to within the county rather than the ward. The law does not change requirements for chief inspectors or high school students.
- Senate Bill 324 limits the times for in-person absentee voting. The Governor issued a partial veto so that such voting may occur up to 55 hours during specified times on weekdays.
- Senate Bill 377 requires clerks to report statistics regarding EDR voter verification postcards.
- Senate Bill 548 transfers responsibility for mailing the voter list maintenance postcards from clerks to the G.A.B.
As stated above, none of these new laws will affect the administration of the 2014 Spring Election on April 1, 2014. The Governor also signed Senate Bill 655, making various changes to campaign finance and lobbying laws. G.A.B. Staff is preparing a separate communication regarding some minor potential impacts this law may have for candidates and committees involved in the 2014 Spring Election.
G.A.B. Staff will provide a more detailed description of each new law enacted, as well as how these new laws will affect election administration and election official training moving forward. If you have any questions about these newly enacted laws, please contact the G.A.B. Help Desk at GAB@wi.gov or (608) 261-2028.