State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

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7.30

7.30 Appointment of election officials.

7.30(1)

(1) Number.

7.30(1)(a)

(a) Except as authorized under par. (b), there shall be 7 inspectors for each polling place at each election. Except as authorized in par. (b), in municipalities where voting machines are used, the municipal governing body may reduce the number of inspectors to 5. A municipal governing body may provide for the appointment of additional inspectors whenever more than one voting machine is used or wards are combined under s. 5.15 (6) (b). A municipal governing body may provide by ordinance for the selection of alternate officials or the selection of 2 or more sets of officials to work at different times on election day, and may permit the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners to establish different working hours for different officials assigned to the same polling place. Alternate officials shall also be appointed in a number sufficient to maintain adequate staffing of polling places. Except for inspectors who are appointed under par. (b) and officials who are appointed without regard to party affiliation under sub. (4) (c), additional officials shall be appointed in such a manner that the total number of officials is an odd number and the predominant party under sub. (2) is represented by one more official than the other party.

7.30(1)(b)

(b) Each municipality may appoint one additional inspector to serve at each polling place without regard to party affiliation who shall serve as a greeter to answer questions and to direct electors to the proper locations for registration and voting and who shall be available to substitute for other election officials who must leave the room during the voting process.

7.30(2)

(2) Qualifications and procedure.

7.30(2)(a)

(a) Only election officials appointed under this section or s. 6.875 may conduct an election. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph and in ss. 7.15 (1) (k) and 7.52 (1) (b), each election official shall be a qualified elector of the ward or wards, or the election district, for which the polling place is established. A special registration deputy who is appointed under s. 6.55 (6) or an election official who is appointed under this section to fill a vacancy under par. (b) need not be a resident of the ward or wards, or the election district, but shall be a resident of the municipality, except that if a municipal clerk or deputy clerk serves as a registration deputy or is appointed to fill a vacancy under par. (b), the clerk or deputy clerk need not be a resident of the municipality, but shall be a resident of the state. No more than 2 individuals holding the office of clerk or deputy clerk may serve without regard to municipal residency in any municipality at any election. Special registration deputies who are appointed under s. 6.55 (6) may be appointed to serve more than one polling place. All officials appointed under this section shall be able to read and write the English language, be capable, and be of good understanding, and may not be a candidate for any office to be voted for at an election at which they serve. In 1st class cities, they may hold no public office other than notary public. Except as authorized under subs. (1) (b) and (4) (c), all inspectors shall be affiliated with one of the 2 recognized political parties which received the largest number of votes for president, or governor in nonpresidential general election years, in the ward or combination of wards served by the polling place at the last election. Excluding the inspector who may be appointed under sub. (1) (b), the party which received the largest number of votes is entitled to one more inspector than the party receiving the next largest number of votes at each polling place. Election officials appointed under this section may serve the electors of more than one ward where wards are combined under s. 5.15 (6) (b). If a municipality is not divided into wards, the ward requirements in this paragraph apply to the municipality at large.

7.30(2)(am)

(am) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, a pupil who is 16 or 17 years of age and who is enrolled in grades 9 to 12 in a public or private school or in a tribal school, as defined in s. 115.001 (15m), may serve as an inspector at the polling place serving the pupil's residence, with the approval of the pupil's parent or guardian. Any pupil who has at least a 3.0 grade point average or the equivalent may serve. In addition, a school board or governing body of a private school or tribal school may establish criteria for service by a pupil who does not have at least a 3.0 grade point average or the equivalent. A pupil may serve as an inspector at a polling place under this paragraph only if at least one election official at the polling place other than the chief inspector is a qualified elector of this state. No pupil may serve as chief inspector at a polling place under this paragraph. Before appointment by any municipality of a pupil as an inspector under this paragraph, the municipal clerk shall obtain written authorization from the pupil's parent or guardian for the pupil to serve for the election for which he or she is appointed. In addition, if a pupil does not have at least a 3.0 grade point average or the equivalent, the municipal clerk shall obtain written certification from the principal of the school where the pupil is enrolled that the pupil meets any criteria established by the school board or governing body for service as an inspector. Upon appointment of a pupil to serve as an inspector, the municipal clerk shall notify the principal of the school where the pupil is enrolled of the name of the pupil and the date of the election at which the pupil has been appointed to serve.

7.30(2)(b)

(b) When a vacancy occurs in an office under this section, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment of the municipal clerk. Unless the vacancy occurs in the position of an inspector appointed under sub. (1) (b), the vacancy shall be filled from the remaining names on the lists submitted under sub. (4) or from additional names submitted by the chairperson of the county party committee of the appropriate party under sub. (4) whenever names are submitted under sub. (4) (d). If the vacancy is due to candidacy, sickness or any other temporary cause, the appointment shall be a temporary appointment and effective only for the election at which the temporary vacancy occurs. The same qualifications that applied to original appointees shall be required of persons who fill vacancies except that a vacancy may be filled in cases of emergency or because of time limitations by a person who resides in another aldermanic district or ward within the municipality, and if a municipal clerk or deputy clerk fills the vacancy, the clerk or deputy, but not more than a total of 2 individuals in any municipality, may serve without regard to the clerk's or deputy's municipality of residence, if the clerk or deputy meets the other qualifications.

7.30(2)(c)

(c) The governing body of any municipality may require all persons serving as election officials to prove their ability to read and write English and to have a general knowledge of the election laws. Examinations may be given to prove the qualifications can be met. The municipal clerk shall ensure that all training meets the training requirements prescribed in rules promulgated by the board under ss. 7.31 and 7.315.

7.30(3)

(3) Tabulators.

7.30(3)(a)

(a) Not less than 30 days before any election the governing body or board of election commissioners of any municipality, by resolution, may authorize the municipal clerk or executive director of the board of election commissioners to select and employ tabulators for any election. Such authorization applies to the elections specified in the resolution, and if not specified, applies until the authorization is modified or revoked.

7.30(3)(b)

(b) The tabulators shall assist and be under the direction of the election inspectors after the close of the polls.

7.30(4)

(4) Appointments.

7.30(4)(a)

(a) Except in cities where there is a board of election commissioners, the mayor, president or board chairperson of each municipality shall nominate to the governing body no later than their last regular meeting in December of each odd-numbered year the necessary election officials for each polling place and any election officials required under s. 7.52 (1) (b). If no regular meeting is scheduled, the mayor, president or chairperson shall call a special meeting for the purpose of considering nominations no later than December 31.

7.30(4)(b)

(b) The 2 dominant parties, under sub. (2), are each responsible for submitting a list of names from which all appointees to inspector positions, other than appointees to inspector positions authorized under sub. (1) (b), shall be chosen as follows:

7.30(4)(b)1.

1. In cities where there is a board of election commissioners, the aldermanic district committeemen or committeewomen under s. 8.17 of each of the 2 dominant recognized political parties shall submit a certified list no later than November 30 of each odd-numbered year containing the names of at least as many nominees as there are inspectors from that party for each of the voting wards in the aldermanic district. For inspectors serving under s. 7.52 (1) (b), the aldermanic district committeemen and committeewomen under s. 8.17 of the 2 dominant recognized political parties shall jointly submit a certified list of nominees containing at least twice as many nominees as there are inspectors from that party who are to be appointed under s. 7.52 (1) (b). The chairperson may designate any individual whose name is submitted as a first choice nominee. The board of election commissioners shall appoint, no later than December 31 of odd-numbered years, at least 5 inspectors for each ward. The board of election commissioners shall appoint all first choice nominees for so long as positions are available, unless nonappointment is authorized under par. (e), and shall appoint other individuals in its discretion. The board of election commissioners may designate such alternates as it deems advisable.

7.30(4)(b)2.

2.

7.30(4)(b)2.a.

a. In municipalities other than cities and villages located in counties having a population of more than 500,000, the committees organized under s. 8.17 from each of the 2 dominant parties under sub. (2) shall submit a list containing at least as many names as there are needed appointees from that party. The list shall be submitted by the chairperson of each of the 2 committees to the mayor, president, or chairperson of the municipality. If committees are organized in subdivisions of a city, the list shall be submitted through the chairperson of the city committee. If there is no municipal committee, the list shall be submitted by the chairperson of the county or legislative district committee. Except as provided in par. (c), only those persons submitted by the chairperson of each committee under s. 8.17 may act as election officials. The chairperson may designate any individual whose name is submitted as a first choice nominee. The list shall contain the signature of the chairperson and secretary of the submitting committee.

7.30(4)(b)2.b.

b. In cities or villages located in counties having a population of more than 500,000, other than cities where there is a board of election commissioners, the aldermanic district or village committeeman or committeewoman for the ward or wards where each polling place is located, if there is one, or for inspectors serving under s. 7.52 (1) (b), the committeemen and committeewomen for the municipality acting jointly, shall submit a list containing at least as many names as there are needed appointees for inspector positions from the party represented by the committeeman or committeewoman or by the committeemen and committeewomen acting jointly. For appointments of inspectors in cities and villages where there is no aldermanic district or village committeeman or committeewoman, nominations shall proceed in the same manner as in municipalities located in counties having a population of 500,000 or less. The list shall be submitted to the mayor or president. Except as provided in par. (c), only those persons whose names are submitted as provided in this paragraph may act as election officials. The committeeman or committeewoman may designate any individual whose name is submitted as a first choice nominee. The list shall contain the signature of the aldermanic district or village committeeman or committeewoman or the chairperson of the appropriate committee.

7.30(4)(b)2.c.

c. Upon submission of each nominee's name, the governing body shall appoint each first choice nominee for so long as positions are available, unless nonappointment is authorized under par. (e), and shall appoint other nominees in its discretion. If any nominee is not appointed, the mayor, president, or chairperson of the municipality shall immediately nominate another person from the appropriate lists submitted and continue until the necessary number of election officials from each party is achieved at that meeting.

7.30(4)(c)

(c) Except with respect to inspectors who are appointed under sub. (1) (b), for so long as nominees are made available by the political parties under this section, appointments may be made only from the lists of submitted nominees. If the lists are not submitted by November 30 of the year in which appointments are to be made, the board of election commissioners shall appoint, or the mayor, president or chairperson of a municipality shall nominate qualified persons whose names have not been submitted. If an insufficient number of nominees appears on the lists as of November 30, the board of election commissioners shall similarly appoint, or the mayor, president or chairperson shall similarly nominate sufficient individuals to fill the remaining vacancies. In addition, the mayor, president, or board chairperson of the municipality shall similarly nominate qualified persons to serve in the inspector positions authorized under sub. (1) (b). Any appointment which is made due to the lack of availability of names submitted under par. (b) may be made without regard to party affiliation.

7.30(4)(d)

(d) A party committee or aldermanic district or village committeeman or committeewoman under s. 8.17 may submit additional names for inclusion in its list of nominations under this section at any time for the purpose of filling vacancies that occur during a term of office. However, an appointment need at no time be delayed because of the lack of availability of party nominees.

7.30(4)(e)

(e) If an appointing authority believes that, for good cause, it should not appoint an individual whose name is submitted as a first choice nominee under par. (b), it may request the board to authorize nonappointment. The board may permit nonappointment of an individual for cause demonstrated by an appointing authority.

7.30(5)

(5) Oath of office. Within 5 days after appointment of the election officials the municipal clerk shall give each appointee notice. The appointees shall file the official oath with the municipal clerk within 10 days after the mailing of the notice. Appointees to fill vacancies or any other election official who has not filed the oath, before receiving any ballots, shall sign the oath and return it to the municipal clerk. An inspector, after taking the oath, may administer any oath required to conduct an election.

7.30(6)

(6) Office tenure.

7.30(6)(a)

(a) Except as provided in par. (am), the appointed election officials shall hold office for 2 years and until their successors are appointed and qualified. They shall serve at every election held in their ward during their term of office.

7.30(6)(am)

(am) A pupil appointed as an inspector under sub. (2) (am) shall serve as an inspector only for the election for which he or she is appointed. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to limit the number of times a pupil may be appointed as an inspector.

7.30(6)(b)

(b) Prior to the first election following the appointment of the inspectors, the municipal clerk shall appoint one of the inspectors at each polling place, other than an inspector who is appointed under sub. (1) (b), to serve as chief inspector. No person may serve as chief inspector at any election who is not certified by the board under s. 7.31 at the time of the election. The chief inspector shall hold the position for the remainder of the term unless the inspector is removed by the clerk or the inspector ceases to be certified under s. 7.31, except that whenever wards are combined or separated under s. 5.15 (6) (b), the municipal clerk shall appoint another inspector who is certified under s. 7.31 to serve as chief inspector at each polling place designated under s. 5.15 (6) (b). If a vacancy occurs in the position of chief inspector at any polling place, the municipal clerk shall appoint one of the other inspectors who is certified under s. 7.31 to fill the vacancy.

7.30(6)(c)

(c) If any election official appointed under this section lacks the qualifications set forth in this section, fails to attend training sessions required under s. 7.15 (1) (e) unless excused therefrom, is guilty of neglecting his or her official duties or commits official misconduct, the municipal clerk or board of election commissioners shall summarily remove the official from office and the vacancy shall be filled under sub. (2) (b).

7.30 - ANNOT.

History: 1971 c. 242; 1971 c. 304 s. 29 (1), (2); 1971 c. 336; 1973 c. 280, 334; 1975 c. 93, 101; 1977 c. 394, 427, 447; 1979 c. 89, 260, 355; 1983 a. 183, 484, 538; 1985 a. 131 s. 3; 1985 a. 304, 332; 1987 a. 391; 1989 a. 192, 359; 1995 a. 16 s. 2; 1997 a. 127; 1999 a. 182; 2001 a. 16, 109; 2005 a. 27, 149, 451; 2007 a. 96; 2009 a. 302.