Sample ballots for the 2022 Spring Primary and Spring Election have been approved by the Commission and are now available on the WEC website. The ballots specific to each election are further detailed below. All templates can be found in the Forms section of the WEC website by filtering for the “Ballot Templates” subject.
There are several variants of templates to reflect the numerous types of ballots currently in use throughout Wisconsin, including hand-count paper ballots and both arrow and oval versions of optical scan templates. Additionally, separate proofs have been prepared for each type of municipality, i.e., cities, towns, and villages. The templates are outlined within their respective ballot series for both the Spring Primary and Spring Election.
For jurisdictions that utilize hand count paper ballots, nonpartisan elections are an opportunity to use consolidated ballots in lieu of ballot packets. The choice to use consolidated ballots must be approved by the County.
In addition to the sample templates, this communication also includes a list of offices in the order in which contests traditionally appear on the ballot (as well as the preferred order in which to list referendum questions).
Reminders Regarding Ballot Folds and Vote Tabulation:
When setting up ballot templates, specifically optical scan ballots, be mindful of how creases or scoring for absentee ballots will affect the ballot when it is folded. There are known issues with creases on absentee ballots being picked up in the oval or write-in field on some optical scan ballots, so please keep this in mind when laying out your contests. Please emphasize the appropriate way to handle ballots that may be rejected for “false” overvotes during election inspector training.
Specifically, if the tabulator is programmed to allow for the override function to be used for overvoted and crossover voted ballots, the ballot must be returned to the voter or election inspector for review. If voter intent can be determined for any reason, including situations where the tabulator improperly determined a crease through an oval or write-in field was a vote, the ballot must be remade so that it can be processed on the tabulator. If an overvote or crossover vote is present on the ballot the ballot should be reinserted into the machine and processed using the override function. Failure to follow these procedures as outlined in the Election Day Manual beginning on page 103 may result in contests being incorrectly identified as overvoted and good votes being improperly discarded.
Proofing and Testing:
We know that counties already use various methods to test and proof ballots once they are received by the printer. Based on issues that were identified with ballot printing for the 2020 November General Election and the increase in by-mail absentee voting, we wanted to emphasize how important these procedures are to your pre-election process. To ensure folds do not impact how absentee ballots are counted, please work with your municipalities to test actual folded ballots as part of the proofing process and pre-election testing process. As explained previously in this memo, ballot folds can have an impact on vote tabulation and testing of folded ballots can help identify potential issues prior to ballots beings sent to voters.
In addition, when ballots are received from the printer a representative sample should be reviewed and tested to determine if there are any defects that would impact tabulation. Elements essential to tabulation, such as timing marks for optical scan ballots, should be checked for imperfections that may cause problems with optical scanners reading those ballots. Identifying any potential issues prior to ballots being sent to voters will decrease the number of ballots that need to be remade on election day and increase the efficiency of election day operations.
Order of Offices
The chart below lists the official titles for offices that will appear on the spring ballots. The chart also lists the traditional order of those offices within the appropriate level of government, including the order of multiple referendum questions for different levels of government if necessary. Traditionally, multiple referendum questions are listed in descending order with the highest unit of government being listed first.