Any person may file a complaint alleging a violation of election law such as electioneering, distributing election-related materials at active polling locations, false statements affecting elections, voter intimidation, bribery and election fraud. If you are filing a complaint against an election official, consider whether filing a 5.06 complaint would be a more appropriate course of action.
Under Wis. Stats. §§ 5.05(5s), 12.13(5), and 12.60(1)(bm), the WEC is required to keep Wis. Stat. § 5.05 complaints confidential, and staff do not place those complaints online or comment on them. Parties to a Wis. Stat. § 5.05 complaint have on occasion, been known to provide comment, but the processes are generally kept entirely confidential. In any case, the WEC will not provide comment on a confidential complaint.
When should you file an Official Sworn Complaint under § 5.05?
- If you believe you witnessed:
- Distributing election-related materials at polling locations during an election
- False statements affecting elections
- Voter intimidation
- Election fraud
See full statute here § 5.05 for additional information.
Please note: Even if the Commission finds reasonable belief or probable cause this does not guarantee the complaint will be given to the district attorney or that the district attorney will prosecute.
§5.05 Complaint Process Timeline
||Receipt and Response
||Commission Investigates Complaint
||Transferred to District Attorney
||If Needed, Time Varies
- Fill out EL-1100 Form.
- List the specific statute that was broken.
- Notarize the complaint.
- Email, fax, mail, or deliver the form to the Commission
- Within 5 days, the Commission acknowledges receipt of the complaint.
- The accused is given 15 days to respond.
- The Commission analyzes relevant evidence for the complaint.
- If probable cause is found, the Commission refers the complaint to the District Attorney (see next step).
- If probable cause is not found, the Commission will notify the complainant.
- If needed, the complaint is referred to the District Attorney. Their office may communicate with you.
- There is NO guarantee that the District Attorney will prosecute or contact the complainant or respondent further.