Candidates file their forms with the filing officer at the level of office they are running for. Federal, Statewide, and multijurisdictional judicial candidates file their Declaration of Candidacy and Nomination Papers with Wisconsin Elections Commission. Statewide, and multijurisdictional judicial candidates file their Campaign Finance Registration Statement and Statement of Economic Interests with Wisconsin Ethics Commission.
Anyone can view the list of candidates running for office. For federal, statewide, and multijurisdictional judge positions, Wisconsin Elections Commission publishes and posts the Candidate Tracking by Office report ahead of the election. Voters can view exactly who will be on their ballot on the Type B notice published by the clerks on the Friday before the election. They may also view a sample ballot on MyVote.
Note: Sample ballots will not appear in MyVote until the list of candidates has been certified and added to the election by the clerks. Voter can expect to be able to view their sample ballot up to two weeks before the election.
The number of signatures needed to get your name added to the ballot is dependent on the level of office you are running for. Please consult the Ballot Access checklist for the office for federal, statewide, and multi-jurisdictional judicial offices. Local candidates should check with their local filing officers (county, municipal, or school district clerks).
The presence of a candidate at a location where ballots are given to voters may give the appearance of electioneering. During hours when ballots may be cast, Wis. Stat. § 12.03 prohibits electioneering at polling places, in-person absentee voting sites, and locations where special voting deputies are present. It also prevents electioneering on public property within 100 feet of an entrance to one of these locations. Electioneering is defined by the statute as “any activity which is intended to influence voting at an election.” Additionally, while most individuals may observe voting at polling places and in-person absentee voting sites, any candidate whose name appears on a ballot at one of those locations is not extended that right under Wis. Stat. § 7.41(1). For these reasons, the Wisconsin Elections Commission recommends that a candidate only be present at one of these locations in order to vote, and to leave as soon as the candidate has finished voting.
In a nonpartisan (Spring) election, the order in which candidates names appear on the ballot is determined by the drawing of lots, or by any method that is by chance. S. 5.60(1)(b), Wis. Stats. 3/24/2003
In a partisan primary, the order in which candidates of one party's names appear is also determined by lot.
At a partisan General Election (such as for Governor or President) the ballot order is determined by which political party's candidate received the most votes at the last General Election. For example, Governor Walker received the most votes in the 2010 General Election, so Republican candidates were first on the 2012 General Election ballot. In 2012, President Obama received the most votes, so Democratic candidates are first on the 2014 General Election ballot.
The ballot order for independent candidates is determined by lot.
Once a candidate qualifies for ballot status, her name appears on the ballot. The candidate cannot withdraw and have her name removed. Only in case of death of the candidate can the name be removed from the ballot. S. 8.35, Wis. Stats.
The candidate can make a statement to notice the electors that she no longer wishes to seek the office by election, but her name will appear on the ballot. Should the candidate win the election, she may decline to hold the office. This creates a vacancy that is filled following the provisions of Ch. 17. 3/12/2003