Collecting Nomination Paper Signatures for the Fall 2020 Elections

The nomination paper circulation period is April 15 through June 1 at 5 p.m. for the 2020 General Election. The Wisconsin Elections Commission met on April 10, 2020, to discuss the nomination circulation period for the election amid the COVID-19 public health emergency.

For a summary and suggestions for the circulation of nomination papers, please review the memo.

As always, nomination papers must have consecutive page numbers listed and be well organized for review by Commission staff.  Any signatures above the maximum number of signatures allowable should be separated and categorized as “supplemental.”  Nomination paper signature requirements can be found by reviewing the appropriate Ballot Access Checklist:

Candidates are encouraged to submit questions and documents for review (but not actual filings) by email to to ensure timely responses to questions and minimize the number of visitors in the office.

For more information regarding nomination paper sufficiency, please review the PowerPoint and Guide Below.

Disclaimer:  Please note that the Candidate Ballot Access Manual was written prior to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  While the guidance and procedures contained within are relevant for candidates collecting signatures to gain ballot status, specific concerns related to ballot access procedures during the COVID-19 public health emergency are not directly addressed as part of the document.  For further information on best practices for gathering nomination paper signatures during the circulation period for the November 3, 2020 General Election please see the April 13 memorandum, Memo Nomination Paper Circulation - Fall 2020 Election 

For filing officers, please review the nomination paper review guide and video for the procedure on determining sufficiency.

Circulation of Nomination Papers – 2020 General Election - COVID-19


DATE:    April 13, 2020

TO:    Candidates for Elective Office – Fall 2020
           All County and Municipal Filing Officers
FROM:    Meagan Wolfe, Administrator
                Wisconsin Elections Commission

SUBJECT:    Circulation of Nomination Papers – 2020 General Election

The Wisconsin Elections Commission (“Commission”) met on April 10, 2020 to discuss the nomination paper circulation period for the 2020 General Election during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  

The Commission unanimously passed the following three motions:      

1)    The Commission reaffirms that it does not have the statutory authority to change or modify current statutory procedures related to the circulation of nomination papers for the 2020 General Election. 

The Commission is an administrative agency, tasked with administering Chapters 5-10, 12, Wis. Stats. and other laws relating to elections and election campaigns.  Wis. Stat. § 5.05(1).  The Commission does not have the authority to change provisions and requirements set forth in state statute.  Without legislative changes, an order of the Governor under his emergency powers to manage a health crisis or an order of a court, the Commission must enforce the nomination paper procedures contained in statute.

2)    In light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Commission reaffirms the use of “single signed and circulated” nomination papers to limit the amount of in-person/face-to-face contact that normally occurs during the circulation of nomination papers.  

A ”single signed and circulated” nomination paper is a document provided by a candidate to individual supporters (download from a website, sent by mail or email).  The supporter completes the signature line of the page with the required information (printed name, signature, address and date of signing) and then also completes the certification of circulator as the individual who presented the paper for signing.  Once the individual has completed the certification of circulator, they then provide the nomination paper back to the campaign via mail or hand delivery.  In addition to use by individuals, the “single signed and circulated” nomination paper can also be used by families or roommates who are at home and are unable or unwilling to leave their home during the public health crisis.  

3)    The Commission encourages candidates circulating nomination papers for the 2020 General Election use the U.S. Mail to obtain signatures on nomination paper during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  

The Commission encourages candidates to collect nomination paper signatures from supporters by using the U.S. Mail.  Once signatures have been obtained and the certification of circulator has been completed, the individual is encouraged to send it back to the candidate in the mail.  

If you have additional questions about this guidance, please contact the WEC at (608) 261-2028 or

Submitting Nomination Papers for the Fall 2020 Elections

Nomination papers must be completed and submitted to the Wisconsin Elections Commission by Monday, June 1, 2020 for the 2020 General Election.

Nomination papers may be submitted to the Commission in the following ways:

By U.S. Mail or Delivery

Candidates may submit original nomination papers via U.S. Mail or a package delivery company. Please include an email address so a confirmation can be sent upon receipt of the document.

  • U.S. Mail: Wisconsin Elections Commission, P.O. Box 7984, Madison, WI 53707-7984
  • Delivery: Wisconsin Elections Commission, 212 E. Washington Ave., 3rd Floor, Madison, WI 53703. 

By Appointment

Candidates or their representatives may submit nomination papers in-person at the Wisconsin Elections Commission office. To maintain the health of everyone involved in this process, candidates should make an appointment to submit nomination papers to Commission staff.

Appointments after May 26 will be at UW Madison Union South in the Varsity Room, 1308 W Dayton St, Madison, WI 53715.

On the June 1 deadline, candidate meetings will be first-come first-serve and candidates should expect a wait.

  • Appointments are available Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Appointments should be made one business day in advance to ensure adequate on-site staffing.

Making an Appointment and Preparing to File:

  1. Please use click this link to go to our scheduling website ( You will receive a confirmation email after booking with information about your appointment
  2. If you need to make an appointment by phone, please call (608)261-2028 to ask to speak to an elections specialist about making an appointment to file.
  3. Organize your papers prior to arriving at the WEC office and number each petition page in sequential order.
  4. Please limit the number of people in your party during your visit to ensure the health and safety of candidates, members of the public, and WEC staff during this public health crisis.

Arriving for your appointment at Union South (May 26-June 1):

  1. The Union South building is located at 1308 W Dayton St, Madison, WI 53715. We will be on the second floor in the Varsity Room.
  2. Please park in Lot 80 (Union South Garage) for free in any unmarked spot (Visitor Parking).
  3. You may also park in Lot 17 (Engineering Lot) on Engineering Dr.
  4. If you do not enter through Lot 80, you must use the Union Hotel Entrance, located close to the hotel drop-off zone off of W Dayton.
  5. Do not park or stall in the hotel drop off circle off of W Dayton.

Determining Sufficiency of Nomination Papers



Attachment Size
Nomination Paper Review Guide 3.06 MB

Nomination Paper Review Guide

The nomination paper review guide includes an overview of the required information for each section of the nomination paper form and a sample petition page that has been filled out.  A version of the sample petition page that has been marked up and reviewed has also been included for your reference.  The guide provides information about each section and column of the petition and outlines some common scenarios and explains how those situations should be treated during the review process.

Note: Administrative rule EL 2.05 outlines the criteria for determining the sufficiency of signatures on nomination papers:

Nomination Paper Review Training Video

A short video that outlines the nomination paper review process has also bee created for your use.  The video outlines the nomination paper form and provides tips and guidance on the review process.