WEC Newsletter Volume III, Issue VI

This is older content that may possibly be out of date at this time.
Pre-Election Super Guide, Assisting voters with disabilities, Exit polling and Media at Polling Places
Wisconsin Elections Commission

Wisconsin Elections

Volume III, Issue VI

March 23, 2023

Vintage advertisement for "Monterey Soufflé Salad" with mayonnaise, lemon-flavored gelatin, and olives. Photo by genibee via Creative Commons.

It's a big issue this week!

Administering an election is a lot of work and there are many moving parts. We've compiled a list of resources and reminders to make your Election Day as smooth as Aunt Candice's jello salad.


Improving accessibility for voters with disabilities.

Assisting voters with disabilities & their agents

Absentee Voting

Under the Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to return their absentee ballot due to disability must be permitted to receive assistance. Please take the time to review this document as part of your preparation for the upcoming Spring Election:

Guidance on Absentee Ballot Return Options Under the Federal Voting Rights Act

Polling Place Accessibility is the Law

Election Day

Curbside Voting

All polling places must offer curbside voting to voters who are unable to enter their polling place due to disability. Instructions on how to conduct curbside voting can be found on p.66 of the Election Day Manual. We recommend posting a phone number in the parking lot for voters to request curbside voting. Some polling places designate parking spaces for curbside voting marked with a sign and instructions. If you choose to dedicate parking spaces to curbside voting, make sure you still have the minimum number of van-accessible and standard-accessible parking spaces required and that they are located nearest to the accessible entrance.

Privacy and Independence

Voters using an accessible voting booth or accessible voting equipment are entitled to the same level of privacy and independence as voters using standard voting booths. Accessible voting booths and equipment must be in the voting area with the other voting booths, not in a different room. Pay attention to how booths and equipment are positioned relative to the flow of traffic and the location of observers. It is never acceptable for an accessible voting booth to be in a closet or bathroom. For more information on how to set up your polling place see the Clerk Communication and Polling Place Set-Up Webinar.

Accessible Voting Equipment

Federal and state law requires every polling place to have accessible voting equipment (ExpressVote, ICE, ICX, AutoMark, ClearAccess, Edge) available. Anyone can use accessible voting equipment; it is not only for voters with disabilities. While polls are open the accessible voting equipment must be set up, turned on, functioning, and clearly available to voters. Headphones and tactile keypads should be plugged in and resting in front of the machine. Poll workers should offer accessible voting equipment to each voter. For more information on accessible voting equipment, see the Accessible Voting Equipment Best Practices Webinar and Factsheets.

Back to Contents

Pre-Election Super Guide

This week we're serving up a smörgåsbord of election advice on a variety of topics. Photo by Yelp Inc. via Creative Commons.

Election Administration

Illustration of writing in a vote

Registered Write-In Candidates

A candidate who wishes to run as a write-in must file a Campaign Finance Registration Statement (CF-1) no later than 12:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding the election. If the candidate previously filed a CF-1 with the appropriate filing officer and later decides to run as a write-in, Commission staff recommend the candidate submit a short, written statement reflecting their intent. In some cases, votes cast for write-in candidates who do not file a campaign registration statement may not be counted. Wis. Stat. § 7.50(2)(em).

Counting Votes

Counting votes in an office where write-in votes are present can be complicated and requires a step-by-step approach to systematically separate which write-in votes are eligible for counting and which are ineligible. Please review The Four Principles for Determining Eligibility of Write-in Votes for more details.

Breaking Ties

A tie vote in a municipal contest is broken by the Municipal Board of Canvassers. The MBOC should use a method that results in a random outcome, such as flipping a coin or drawing names from a hat. The procedure should be documented. If all the candidates are present, they can draw to break the tie themselves.

If a municipal referendum results in a tie, it fails.

Back to Contents

Clerks are strongly encouraged to send requests to add their Chief Inspectors and WisVote users as soon as possible

Fill out a request form on The Learning Center.


Where to find pending absentees 

When a voter submits an absentee request using the MyVote website that requires a photo ID, a pending record will be created under the Absentee Application tile in WisVote. This record will include any information entered by the voter during the request process, as well as a copy of the photo ID file uploaded by the voter. Pending records can only be created for application and voter types requiring a photo ID and if the voter record does not have a Photo ID on file marked.

From the Easy Navigate menu, click the Absentee Applications tile.
Do not use the Elections tile!

See section 3.11 of the WisVote Manual for directions.

Poll book illustration

Printing Poll Books

Poll books are now available in WisVote.
In WisVote, the date the poll book was printed refers to the day the poll book file was generated. It is strongly recommended that the poll book file be saved as a PDF or other document type. The poll book can be viewed or printed again without opening WisVote if it is downloaded to your computer. Every time the “Print Poll Book” or “Bundle Poll Book” button is selected, the poll book file is regenerated, which may shift or add voters to the poll book file. Always use the most recent poll book file.

See section 4.3 of the WisVote Manual for directions.

Badger Books

Printing a poll book page

Printing Poll Books

Badger Book users must print a paper poll book and have a supplemental poll book for each polling location. This is a vital part of a contingency plan to handle unique situations.



We want to remind anyone performing poll worker training on Badger Books that you should be using a previous election data file for those training sessions or use the data already loaded on the machines from the previous election. We advise against using current election data for training purposes to avoid data file generation issues. See page 20 of the Badger Book Manual for more information.

Badger Book Training Webinar for Election Inspectors

Barcode Scanner


Scanners received directly from PDS need to be programmed before use. Please use the scanner calibration barcode to program each scanner. Scan the calibration barcode when you are on the main screen of the application (buttons screen). Unplug the scanner and plug it back in so it resets.

Filling a registration form

Election Day Registration

If a voter completes the Election Day Registration (EDR) process and chooses not to receive a ballot immediately (e.g. they do not want to vote at that time) AND THEN THEY RETURN to the polling place later to vote, the EDR process must be restarted. 

Clerks will have to remove duplicate or inaccurate voter participation in WisVote after the election.

See page 52 of the Badger Book Manual for more information.

Email Image
Media and researchers may conduct exit polls and interviews as long as they do not interfere with anyone's ability to vote.  Photo by Michael Newman via Creative Commons.

Exit polling and Media at Polling Places

As the Spring Election approaches, you may receive requests from media or research outlets to conduct exit polling or other voter interviews on Election Day or during the in-person absentee voting period.

While Wisconsin’s laws don’t specifically contemplate exit polls, they are designed to ensure that nothing interferes with the orderly election administration or distracts electors from exercising their right to vote.

State law does not prohibit exit polling or other similar activities that occur around IPAV locations or polling places on Election Day if they do not interfere with the access of voters entering or leaving the polling place. However, people conducting activities around polling places should also be aware of two state laws regarding electioneering. Wis. Stat. §§ 12.03 and 12.035.

The WEC expects everyone to be courteous and understanding of the rights of all participants in the voting process. Election officials have the discretion to remove anyone from the polling place who interferes with or distracts voting at the election. Wis. Stat. § 7.37(2).

See page 85 of the Election Day Manual for more information

Back to Contents

Upcoming Dates & Deadlines

March 23, 2023

  • Deadline for municipal clerks to submit voter participation, Inspectors’ Statement data, and Election Reconciliation data for the Spring Primary via WisVote

March 25, 2023

  • First day for municipal or county clerk to conduct a public test of electronic voting equipment – notices must be published at least 48 hours beforehand

March 27, 2023

  • Last day (5:00 p.m.) for special voting deputies to arrange absentee voting with nursing home and authorized care facility administrators

March 28, 2023

  • First day for municipal clerks to issue absentee ballots by an agent to hospitalized electors
  • Last day for municipal clerks to post notice of absentee voting at nursing homes and authorized care facilities

April 2, 2023

  • Close of in-person absentee voting (IPAV)

April 3, 2023

  • Clerks Publish Type B, C, and D Notices

Upcoming Elections

  • April 4, 2023 - Spring Election

Upcoming Commission Meetings

  • April 28, 2023 - April 2023 Meeting

Back to Contents

Countdown to the April 4 Spring Election:


Questions or comments? Call 608-261-2028 or email @email


Wisconsin Elections Commission

201 West Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor

Madison, WI 53703

P.O. Box 7984 Madison, WI 53707-7984

facebook icon
twitter icon
WEC Website