Volume III, Issue VIII
April 21, 2023
The WEC has certified
the 2023 Spring Election.
The bees might not be buzzing yet, but we're ready for warmer weather so we're making this issue COLORFUL! Photo by lwtt93 via Creative Commons
Summer is coming!
Nothing says summer is around the corner more than yard sales popping up, the steady whiff of smoke from the neighbor's grill, and of course, finishing off the Spring Election. But before summer fully arrives and you fire up your own Weber, we've got a few tasty nuggets that will help you close out this election cycle and prepare for the next one.
Turnout Questions Inevitable
Just as sure as April showers bring May flowers, every election season prompts the following question: What was the turnout?
The short answer for the April 4 inquiries: it was big. So big, in fact, that we're offering one more round of applause today as a show of thanks for all the clerks across Wisconsin who so effectively managed a Spring Election that produced eye-popping turnout numbers.
According to unofficial results, 39.34 percent of Wisconsin's voting-age population turned out to vote on April 4, which is higher than any other Supreme Court contest not coinciding with a presidential preference primary since at least 2000.
The WEC calculates turnout as a percentage of the voting-age population in Wisconsin. In the immediate aftermath of an election, we rely on data gathered by the Associated Press, as the agency does not have complete statewide data until much later.
When dealing with turnout questions from voters, staff, or others, visit theVoter Turnout page on elections.wi.gov. There you'll find turnout history dating back to 1948.
Don't get roasted, grilled, or sauteed by your email domain - instead direct contacts to a .gov domain. Photo by woodleywonderworks via Creative Commons
Enhance Voter Confidence
with a .gov Domain
The Election Security .gov Email Domain subgrant has been renewed and extended by the Wisconsin Elections Commission. This subgrant reimburses up to $600 of expenses related to establishing a .gov or wi.gov email domain. The subgrant is open to any municipality that has not previously received funding under this subgrant (counties are not eligible). If you missed the previous deadlines or your request was denied you are eligible to submit a new application. Find the Election Security .gov Subgrant Reimbursement Request and Certification here.
Note: The process to request a wi.gov domain has changed. Municipalities will work directly with the Wisconsin Department of Administration, Division of Enterprise Technology (DOA/DET) to request wi.gov domains and modify DNS records as needed.
What this means for you: Previously, WEC staff facilitated the municipality’s wi.gov domain requests by submitting service requests to DOA/DET on their behalf. The new process requires municipalities to submit an email directly to DOA/DET. Municipalities that already have wi.gov domains will follow this process to add/delete DNS records as needed. Refer to the updated procedures at the link above.
Stay up to date!
Check your contact info and file an updated EL–362 if needed.
Absentee Envelope Redesign Update
On April 28, WEC staff will present a timeline and updated version of the absentee envelope package (EL-120 and EL-122), subject to implementation for the 2024 Spring Primary in February. The motivating factor for the redesign is the Legislative Audit Bureau’s October 2021 finding that the current certificate envelope does not include a place for the witness to provide their printed name, a requirement per Wis. Stat. § 6.87(2). The Commission will be asked to review the statutory compliance of the new envelope design and approve the timeline for testing and implementation of the envelopes. The report to the Commission can be found here, once posted, along with instructions on providing public comment at the beginning of the meeting.
The new design maintains the current envelope sizes and introduces new features to improve understanding. Three variants of the envelope are proposed:
- General absentee voting purposes, including in-person absentee voting
- Special Voting Deputy absentee voting purposes
- Military and Overseas absentee voting
The next phase in the project will involve scheduling envelope usability sessions with local election officials and voters throughout May and June 2023. The final design is anticipated to be approved in August 2023.
The commission has already approved a subgrant to assist clerks in covering the costs related to the envelope transition.
WEC sends EDR postcards to voters weekly
Clerks need to complete EDR postcard reports in WisVote
Wisconsin statutes require that after anElection Day Registration by a voter, apostcard must be sent to that voter as a verification measure.
As clerks enter their Election Day Registrations from the 2023 Spring Election, the WEC sends postcards to these voters informing them of their district information and their polling place. If the postal service is unable to deliver these postcards they are returned to the clerk's mailing address that the WEC has on file for that jurisdiction.
One benefit of making sure your municipality's contact information is correct in WisVote is that EDR postcards are more likely to get to your office. You can check your contact information in WisVote under the Jurisdiction Tile, or download the clerk directory on elections.wi.gov . If anything is missing or incorrect, please file an EL–362 WisVote Clerk/Deputy Contact Information Update Form.
How to Process Undeliverable EDR postcards
Review the voter’s address for any missing information or obvious typographical errors and compare the address on the postcard to the registration form.
- If there is an error, correct it in WisVote and email the WEC Help Desk to have a postcard resent to the correct address. Please make sure to include the voter's registration number and full name.
- If the address on the postcard is complete, correct, and matches the registration form, consider other causes. Did the voter deliberately give an invalid address or did another circumstance prevent delivery?
- If no legitimate reason the postcard was not deliverable can be found, you then must determine – beyond a reasonable doubt – if voter deactivation and/or a referral to the District Attorney's office are warranted *See Wis. Stats. §§ 6.56(3) and 6.325.
This information must be entered within the EDR Postcard Report. See section 5.5 of the WisVote User Manual for more details.
Clerks without WisVote access will need to collaborate with their provider jurisdictions to ensure this information is entered.
Photo by Mike Gifford via Creative Commons
Find What You Need on Our Website
Webinar sign-ups are under the "Clerks" tab
Are you having difficulty signing up for WEC webinars? With changes made to the WEC website and the TLC training website over the last year, we want to ensure everyone is comfortable with finding webinar sign-up opportunities.
The best way to get signed up for webinars is to go to the WEC website and select Clerk Training under the Clerks tab at the top. On the Clerk Training page, you will find a section labeled “Upcoming Webinars.” Clicking on this will open a calendar showing only upcoming webinars.
You may then click on the upcoming webinar you are interested in and follow the link to sign up for the session. Here is a quick visual prompt to help if you are having any difficulty. Our next webinar — on managing post-election processes in WisVote — is scheduled for April 25.
Upcoming Dates & Deadlines
April 25, 2023
- Clerks may clear memory devices for their voting equipment from the Spring Election if the data has been transferred to another medium to be retained for 22 months
- Webinar: WisVote 2023 Spring Post-Election
May 4, 2023
- Deadline for Municipal Clerks to Submit Reconciliation Data
- February 20, 2024 – Spring Primary (if necessary)
- April 2, 2024 – Spring Election & Presidential Preference Primary
- August 13, 2024 – Primary Election
- November 5, 2024 – General Election
Upcoming Commission Meetings
- April 28, 2023 - April 2023 Meeting