Special teleconference meeting of the Wisconsin Elections Commission to discuss issues related to COVID-19 pandemic and elections.
A. Call to Order
B. Administrator’s Report of Appropriate Meeting Notice
C. Discussion of Authority to Modify Election Dates, Deadlines and Procedures
D. Closed Session
1. Litigation Update
19.85 (1) (g) -- The Commission may confer with legal counsel concerning litigation strategy.
The Elections Commission will convene in open session but may move to closed session under Wis. Stat. § 19.851. This meeting is not noticed for the Commission to return to open session.
*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting is being held via teleconference only. Members of the media and the public may attend by calling 1-855-947-8255. The passcode is 42463#. All public participants’ phones will be muted during the meeting. Members of the public wishing to communicate to the Commissioners should email @email with “Message to Commissioners” in the subject line. Those messages will be provided to the Commission members.
Commissioner Knudson made seven motions, seconded by Commissioner Bostelmann. After discussion, Commissioner Knudson withdrew the first motion for a separate vote.
1)WEC believes it is vitally important that our April 7th election goes on as scheduled without delay or postponement.
2)WEC staff is directed to develop best practices related to minimizing potential viral transmission during election processes
3) WEC urgently requests the Governor and DHS to help secure a supply of hand sanitizer and other sanitation resources for our clerks and polling places.
4)WEC administrator Wolfe is authorized to spend up to $200,000 on additional supplies needed for absentee voting such as envelopes, labels or sanitation supplies.
5) WEC encourages clerks to recruit and train additional poll workers in advance of the election.
6) WEC encourages all Wisconsin voters to request an absentee ballot thru MyVote.WI.gov and to return the ballot by mail.
7) WEC directs all municipal clerks to accommodate in-person absentee voting and registration as required by state law making any changes needed based on local circumstances to the location, hours and processes used.
Motions 2-7 carried unanimously on a roll-call vote.
Commissioner Knudson amended his first motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Spindell:
1)WEC believes it is vitally important that our April 7th election goes on as scheduled to ensure continuity in local government.
After discussion, this motion passed 4-2 on a roll call vote. Aye: Bostelmann, Glancey, Knudson, Spindell; No: Jacobs and Thomsen.
Commissioner Spindell made the following motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Thomsen:
WEC develop, publicize and instruct the Clerks in all municipalities on “Best Public Health” practices to follow for the April 7, 2020 election and have another WEC meeting to discuss further.
The motion carried unanimously on a voice vote.