Election Calendar and Military and Overseas Ballot Deadlines for Special Election

Priority

High Priority

Date

To

Wisconsin County Clerks
Wisconsin Municipal Clerks

From

Richard Rydecki, Assistant Administrator
Meagan Wolfe, Administrator

The Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) has created a calendar of election events for use by election officials in Congressional District 7 who are administering the special election.  The calendar is attached to this communication and outlines relevant election dates and deadlines, while also providing statutory citations for your reference.  We have also provided answers to some questions we have received concerning these elections.

Please note the special primary, if necessary, and the special election are considered federal elections.  Representative to Congress is a federal office, which means that federal ballot rules and deadlines for military and overseas voters apply to this primary and election and that the federal government will be monitoring compliance with these rules.  In addition, voters with ‘permanent overseas’ status who are usually not able to vote during a spring primary are eligible to participate in the congressional contest.  

Local election officials in Congressional District 7 will be required to send ballots to military and overseas voters at least 47 days before both the special primary and special election.  Counties will also be required to provide their municipalities in Congressional District 7 with ballots for that contest 48 days prior to these elections.  The ballot deadlines for each election are as follows:

February 18, 2020 Special Primary (potential):

  • January 1, 2020: Deadline for the counties in CD 7 to provide ballots for the special primary in Congressional District 7 to impacted municipalities.
  • January 2, 2020:  Deadline for municipalities in CD 7 to send ballots to voters with valid absentee requests for the special primary.

May 12, 2020 Special Election:

March 25, 2020: Deadline for the counties in CD 7 to provide ballots for the special election in Congressional District 7 to impacted municipalities.

March 26, 2020:  Deadline for municipalities in CD 7 to send ballots to voters with valid absentee requests for the special election.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: When will the WEC certify candidates for the special election in Congressional District 7?

A: The WEC is currently scheduled to meet on December 16, 2019 to certify candidates.  WEC staff may be able to conduct a preliminary drawing for ballot order and communicate that information to impacted counties earlier than this date to assist with ballot preparation.

Q: When do I publish the Amended Type A Notice of Special Election received from the WEC?

A:  The Type A Notice for the special election is published as soon as possible upon receipt from the WEC.  Section 8.50(1)(b), requires the Special Type A Notice to be republished on the 4th Tuesday before the date of the special primary (if a primary is required) and if no primary is required, on the 4th Tuesday before the date of the special election.  In order to avoid republishing the Type A Notice of Special Election in case of a primary, the pertinent parts of the Type A Notice have been incorporated into the Type E Notice of Absentee Voting.  The municipal clerk will publish or post the combination Type A/E Notice just as they would a Type E Notice.  A sample Type A/E notice has been provided along with this message.

The Type A Notice of Special Election is required to be republished on the 4th Tuesday before the special election.  The Type A Notice cannot be combined with the Type E Notice for the Special Election, because the Type E Notice must be published on the 3rd Tuesday before a special election.  Therefore, the county clerk must republish the Type A Notice on the 4th Tuesday before the special election.

Q: The deadline for counties to get ballots to municipalities in Congressional District 7 for the special primary is on a holiday, New Year’s Day, do we still have to meet that deadline?

A: Yes, ballots need to be available for municipalities to send by January 2, 2020 for the special primary.  These ballots will only contain the special primaries for the Congressional office as the candidate filing deadline for the 2020 spring election is not until January 7, 2020.  Given the holiday schedule, county and municipal clerks should coordinate to ensure timely ballot delivery.  A sample CD 7 ballot is forthcoming as is a sample spring primary ballot containing the special primary.

Q: Which voters are eligible to participate in the special primary and special election in Congressional District 7?

A: The special primary and special election are considered federal elections, so military, permanent overseas and temporary overseas voters all qualify to receive a ballot.  Regular voters are eligible to participate as well.

Q: Do permanent overseas voters get a full ballot or a ballot with just the congressional contest on it?

A:  Permanent overseas voters are only eligible to vote for federal offices so they would only receive a primary ballot with the congressional contest on it and are not eligible to receive the full spring primary ballot.  Permanent overseas voters will also receive a ballot for the Presidential Preference Primary (but not state and local contests) and for the congressional special election in May.

Q: Does this mean some absentee voters who vote by mail will receive two ballots for the spring primary?

A: Yes, all voters need to be sent the special primary ballot by the January 2, 2020 deadline.  The voters who were sent CD 7 primary ballots (except for any permanent overseas voters) will receive the full spring primary ballot, which will contain the special primary contest, in accordance with the regular spring primary transmittal deadlines (22 days before the primary).

Q: Do voters need to file a new calendar year absentee request on or after January 1 of every year?  What about specific absentee requests on file for the special primary and special election?

A: Yes.  All voters, with the exception of indefinitely confined voters on the permanent absentee list, have to make a new calendar year absentee request on or after January 1 of every year.  This may mean that you will not have many absentee requests on file for the special primary ballot deadline on January 2, 2020.  Clerks should honor any election-specific requests that are on file for the special primary and any calendar year requests made by the January 2 deadline.  In addition, new requests from all voters, including military and overseas voters, should be honored within one business day of receiving the complete request.

Thank you for your attention to these important deadlines regarding the special primary and special election in Congressional District 7.  Please contact our Help Desk at (608)261-2028 or by email at elections@wi.gov with any questions you may have.