Election Comments and Complaints

Election Complaints and Concerns

Report a General Concern

Use this link to give us feedback about your experience voting.  The Commission will use this information to improve future elections.  Depending on the nature of the feedback, WEC staff may or may not take follow up steps, but the formal complaint process will not be initiated without the filing of a sworn complaint.

Report an Accessibility Concern

Use this link to inform the WEC about any accessibility concerns you may have. These comments allow the WEC to efficiently address any potential barriers for voters. The Commission will also use this information to inform training and clerk communication related to accessibility.

File a Sworn Complaint

Use this link to get a paper complaint form regarding an action or decision of a local election official which can be mailed to the Commission. Please note that formal complaints must be notarized and must cite the the statute(s) that were alleged to be violated or that the election official is alleged to have abused their discretion in administering. 
 

Ways to Report a Concern

There are 3 ways to report a concern to the Wisconsin Elections Commission:

  1. General Concerns
  2. Accessibility Concerns
  3. Sworn Complaints

Which method should I use for my concern?

The general concern form is simple, and you can put as much or as little information as wanted on the form. There is no notary or statute requirement, making this the quickest way to get feedback to the Commission. Statistical information is provided to the Commission; however not every concern leads to follow-up, depending on the issue. Using the general concern form is a good option for people who:

  • had a negative experience at their polling place.
  • disagree with a Commission opinion.
  • had a negative experience registering to vote or requesting an absentee ballot.

The accessibility concern process allows you to quickly report accessibility issues to increase the efficiency of responding to these concerns. Commission staff use the information reported to work with the parties involved to come up with solutions to remove barriers. Most accessibility issues can be solved through the accessibility concern process, however, if you want formal action and remedies, you must go through the sworn complaint process. The accessibility concern form is a good option for people who:

  • encountered barriers during the voting process.
  • are experiencing an accessibility-related concern and need it addressed promptly.
  • witnessed something that was inaccessible online, at an in-person absentee location, or at their polling place.

The official sworn complaint process is outlined in Wisconsin Statutes §§.5.05 and 5.06 and Ch. EL 20, Wis. Adm. Code.  It is a method of either requesting an investigation of election-related criminal violations or of reviewing or contesting a decision of a local election official.  All valid complaints will require a response from the local election official or other individual and the Commission will make findings as to whether the local election official complied with the relevant laws or the voter, candidate, or other individual should be referred to law enforcement for further investigation and potential prosecution.  All sworn complaints must be notarized, thoroughly documented, and must cite a specific statute that is alleged to have been violated. This is a good option for people who:

 

  • witnessed an election official, candidate, voter or member of the public violating an election law.
  • are candidates or political parties who do not agree with a filing officer's determination regarding ballot access.
  • want formal determinations and remedies.

Complaints Outside the Commission's Jurisdiction

The Wisconsin Elections Commission does not accept or investigate complaints involving the following:

Elections Complaints Accepted

Complaints involving the following parties and subjects may be filed with the Wisconsin Elections Commission:

  • Election Crimes
    Anyone who witnesses potential election fraud or voter intimidation may file a report with the Commission.  See Section §12.13.
  • Local election officials
    A voter may file a complaint alleging that an election official has violated the law or abused the official’s discretion regarding nominations, qualifications of candidates, voting qualifications, including residence, ward division and renumbering, recall, ballot preparation, election administration or conduct of elections.  See Section §5.06
  • Compliance with federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
    Whenever any person believes that a violation of HAVA has occurred, is occurring, or is proposed to occur with respect to an election for national office in Wisconsin, that person may file a written, verified complaint with the Commission.  See Section §5.061, Stats.