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Extended Hours and Reminders for the August 12, 2014 Partisan Primary

Posted in
Timely Attention Required
August 5, 2014
Wisconsin County Clerks
Wisconsin Municipal Clerks
City of Milwaukee Election Commission
Milwaukee County Election Commission
Michael Haas, Elections Division Administrator
Important reminders for the August 12 2014 Partisan Primary.pdf54.67 KB
Correspondence to Election Observer Groups 8.5.14.pdf54.18 KB

The Government Accountability Board is committed to assisting local election officials in administering Wisconsin elections.  This communication is intended to highlight some of the more significant changes to election laws and procedures and provide some final reminders to election officials working the August 12, 2014 Partisan Primary.

Extended Hours

The Government Accountability Board is offering extended office hours for the August 12, 2014 Partisan Primary.  We will be available to answer your questions via phone or email during the following extended hours: 

  • Thursday, August 7, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, August 8, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Monday, August 11, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 12, 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Proof of Residence

  • Proof of residence is now required for all voter registrations, including name and address changes, except for military and permanent overseas voters.
  • Election officials are required to record the type of proof of residence (utility bill, student ID, etc.), the issuing entity or organization (We Energies, University of Wisconsin, etc.), and the unique identifying number (if any) on the voter registration form.  Election officials should record only the last four or two digits of the unique identifying number on the voter registration form depending on the length of the number.  If the number is seven or more digits, record the last four.  If the number is six or fewer digits, record the last two.
  • Proof of residence documents may be presented in either hardcopy or electronic format on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

For more information, see:

Overvotes/Crossover Votes (for Optical Scan Users Only)

  • An “overvoted” ballot is where the voter has made more selections in a contest than they are eligible to cast (e.g., voted for two candidates for Attorney General when they are only permitted to vote for one). 
  • A “crossover” ballot is where the voter has voted in more than one party section on an optical scan partisan primary ballot and failed to select a party preference (e.g. voted in both the Democratic and Republican party sections).
  • Overvoted and crossover ballots will not normally go through electronic voting equipment, but instead will generate an error message and warning tone to alert the voter to the mistake. 
  • If the voter is still present, he or she may spoil the ballot containing the error by returning it to the issuing election official and requesting another ballot (up to three ballots total).  The election official should make a small tear in the ballot to render it unusable and place it in the Original Ballots Envelope.  A note should also be recorded on the voter list to keep track of how many ballots a person has been issued.
  • For a crossover ballot, the voter may also be able to fix the error by making a mark in the party preference section or by spoiling the ballot and voting another.  If the voter is not present, has refused to rehabilitate the ballot, or has made an error on the third ballot they were issued, the ballot must either be remade or the error message overridden.
  • Overvoted ballots must always be remade.
  • Crossover ballots must be remade if the municipality uses the Election Systems & Software (ES&S) M-100 or DS-200 voting equipment, but may be overridden if the municipality uses any other type of voting equipment.
  • Remaking a ballot is the process of transferring the votes over from a ballot that cannot go through the electronic voting equipment to a new ballot that the equipment will accept.  This process must be conducted by at least two election officials (if party-affiliated inspectors have been appointed, use one of each party where possible).  
  • If the voter overvoted a contest, that contest is not transferred over to the new ballot, unless voter intent can be determined.  
  • If the voter crossed over into multiple party sections, no votes are transferred over and the remade ballot will essentially be a blank ballot.

For more information, see the Election Day Manual starting at page 94.

Counting Write-in Votes at the Polling Place and Reporting Scattering Votes by the County

  • All votes for registered write-in candidates must be counted by the inspectors.
  • The municipal clerk will provide a list of registered write-in candidates to the inspectors.
  • Votes for non-registered write-in candidates will only be counted in the following cases
  • There is no ballot candidate for that office in the party where the vote is cast.
  • There is a ballot candidate for that office in the party where the vote is cast, but the ballot candidate is deceased.
  • Votes for nonregistered write-in candidates that do not fall into one of these categories are not counted.
  • County clerks will list the votes in the appropriate reporting unit under the candidate’s name in the CRS, and subtract the number of registered write-in votes from scattering.


  • The Board has provided a communication to political parties and other organizations regarding changes to the observer rules, which is attached to this memorandum.
  • For more information regarding rules for election observers, see:

New Training Manuals Available

Board staff has recently published the 2014 editions of both the Election Administration and Election Day manuals.  These manuals contain significantly more detailed information than prior editions in a variety of areas and specifically address the many changes in election law from the 2013-14 legislative session. They can be found on the G.A.B. website at or directly at the links below:

Election Administration Manual

Election Day Manual

Contact Information

If you have any further questions regarding the above information or other issues that arise, please contact the G.A.B. Help Desk at (608) 261-2028, or  We appreciate all of your preparations and work for the 2014 Partisan Primary.

Thank you.