State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 6 > 6.24


6.24 Federal overseas voting.


(1) Definition. In this section, "overseas elector" means a U.S. citizen who is not disqualified from voting under s. 6.03, who has attained or will attain the age of 18 by the date of an election at which the citizen proposes to vote and who does not qualify as a resident of this state under s. 6.10, but who was last domiciled in this state or whose parent was last domiciled in this state immediately prior to the parent's departure from the United States, and who is not registered to vote or voting in any other state, territory or possession.


(2) Eligibility. An overseas elector under sub. (1) may vote in any election for national office, including the September primary and presidential preference primary and any special primary or election. Such elector may not vote in an election for state or local office. An overseas elector shall vote in the ward or election district in which the elector was last domiciled or in which the elector's parent was last domiciled prior to departure from the United States.


(3) Registration. The overseas elector shall register in the municipality where he or she was last domiciled or where the overseas elector's parent was last domiciled on a form prescribed by the board designed to ascertain the elector's qualifications under this section. The form shall be substantially similar to the original form under s. 6.33 (1), insofar as applicable. Registration shall be accomplished in accordance with s. 6.30 (4).


(4) Requests.


(a) An overseas elector who is properly registered may request an absentee ballot in writing under ss. 6.86 to 6.89.


(b) A federal postcard registration and absentee ballot request form may be used to apply for an absentee ballot under par. (a) if the form is completed in such manner that the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners with whom it is filed is able to determine all of the following:


1. That the applicant is an overseas elector under sub. (1).


2. That the applicant qualifies to vote in the ward or election district where he or she seeks to vote under sub. (2).


(c) Upon receipt of a timely application from an individual who qualifies as an overseas elector and who has registered to vote in a municipality under sub. (3), the municipal clerk of the municipality shall send an absentee ballot to the individual for all subsequent elections for national office to be held during the year in which the ballot is requested, unless the individual otherwise requests or until the individual no longer qualifies as an overseas elector.


(d) An overseas elector who is not registered may request both a registration form and an absentee ballot at the same time, and the municipal clerk shall send the ballot automatically if the registration form is received within the time prescribed in s. 6.28 (1). The board shall prescribe a special certificate form for the envelope in which the absentee ballot for overseas electors is contained, which shall be substantially similar to that provided under s. 6.87 (2). An overseas elector shall make and subscribe to the special certificate form before a witness who is an adult U.S. citizen.


(5) Ballots. The board shall prescribe a special ballot for use under this section whenever necessary. Official ballots prescribed for use in the presidential preference primary may also be used. The ballot shall be designed to comply with the requirements prescribed under ss. 5.58 (2r), 5.62, and 5.64 (1) insofar as applicable. All ballots shall be limited to national offices only.


(6) Instructions and handling. The municipal clerk shall send a ballot, as soon as available, to each overseas elector by whom a request has been made. The board shall prescribe the instructions for marking and returning ballots and the municipal clerk shall enclose such instructions with each ballot. The envelope, return envelope and instructions may not contain the name of any candidate appearing on the enclosed ballots other than that of the municipal clerk affixed in the fulfillment of his or her duties. Except as authorized in s. 6.87 (3), the municipal clerk shall mail the material, with sufficient postage to ensure that the elector receives the ballot, unless the material qualifies for mailing free of postage under federal free postage laws. If the return envelope qualifies for mailing free of postage under federal free postage laws, the clerk shall affix the appropriate legend required by U.S. postal regulations. Otherwise, the municipal clerk shall pay the postage required for return when the ballot is mailed from within the United States. If the ballot is not mailed by the overseas elector from within the United States, the overseas elector shall provide return postage.


(7) Voting procedure. Except as authorized under s. 6.25, the ballot shall be marked and returned, deposited and recorded in the same manner as other absentee ballots. In addition, the certificate shall have a statement of the elector's birth date. Failure to return the unused ballots in a primary election does not invalidate the ballot on which the elector casts his or her votes.

6.24 - ANNOT.

History: 1977 c. 394; 1979 c. 260, 311; 1985 a. 304; 1987 a. 391; 1989 a. 192; 1995 a. 313; 1997 a. 35; 1999 a. 182 ss. 68 to 75m, 224; 2001 a. 16; 2003 a. 24, 265; 2005 a. 451.