Election Integrity

NEW: Read the Legislative Audit Bureau’s report on the 2020 election here.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin remains focused on election integrity to ensure that all Wisconsinites can have confidence in the results of our elections. Some of our efforts have included:

Fighting Voter Fraud

Last year the Republican Party of Wisconsin took a variety of legal actions, often with partners at the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign, aimed at forcing various election officials to carry out the law, promoting election uniformity and stopping the Democrats from exploiting election laws for their benefit.  Some of the legal challenges include:

  • We fought against Democrats’ effort to allow nearly another week of mail in voting beyond the April election and won, getting a 5-4 ruling from the United States Supreme Court. We stopped them when they tried it again in November. States like Pennsylvania, for example, were unsuccessful in their challenges and absentee ballots were collected and counted days after the election.
  • We stopped clerks in Milwaukee and Dane County who urged all voters to declare themselves Indefinitely Confined, which allows them to circumvent Wisconsin’s common sense photo ID requirement. We obtained a rare favorable Original Action ruling from the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
  • We stopped the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks from violating the law by turning their stadiums into early voting locations.
  • In the strongest legal challenge in America put up by our side after the election, by a narrow 4-3 ruling, Justice Hagedorn provided the deciding vote upholding Wisconsin’s indefinite confinement loophole, allowing Madison’s “Democracy in the Park,” allowing forms on absentee envelopes to also be used as applications for ballots, and allowed clerks to correct witness information. In his concurring opinion, Hagedorn outlined why he sided with the Democrats, and now a legislative remedy will be needed. The WisGOP joined Trump Victory in this lawsuit and assisted the campaign with the recount, hiring staff, working with attorneys, organizing volunteers and putting up funds for the case to proceed.  Working with the Trump legal team, an alternative electors meeting was organized by the WisGOP to meet legal requirements had the courts overturned the election.  Now WisGOP continues to fight against a frivolous complaint by liberal groups who try to intimidate us for doing what could have been legally required had the court challenge been successful.  

Democrats look to cheat by tilting election laws in their favor

Democrats spent much of 2020 using the pandemic as an excuse to create loopholes to, or simply circumvent, election laws. In addition to the abuses outlined above Democrats made additional assaults on our election process.

  • Indefinite confinement: Intended as a protection for people with disabilities that made voting in person very difficult, the number of indefinitely confined individuals skyrocketed from around 50,000 people in early 2020 to nearly 250,000 people by years end.  Over 200,000 of those individuals voted in the 2020 election—about 27,000 for the first time.  While the RPW did stop clerks from further abuse of the law, a legislative remedy will be needed because the Court allows individuals to make their own determinations if they qualify, which creates a system ripe for abuse.  The RPW continues to press for those who no longer qualify for indefinite confinement status to be removed from the list.
  • Democracy in the Park: In 2020, the city of Madison announced that, on two Saturdays in October, it would accept absentee ballot drop offs at any one of 200 city parks during designated hours.  The parks were staffed with people given authority to collect these ballots before the early vote window for the rest of Wisconsin using this loophole in election law.  Though the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as feared prior to the election, would ultimately allow this abuse, the Republican Party of Wisconsin, along with dozens of election integrity activists, stationed volunteers at these parks to ensure staff were not handing out ballots or assisting in the filling out of ballots.  About 20,000 people voted during the Democracy in the Park weekends, including about 4700 first time voters.  We also brought attention to this abuse of election laws, and will do it again as a rallying cry to inform voters in other parts of the state of the lengths Madison and other places will go in order to cancel out their vote. We need to make their steal more expensive than it is worth.

Of course, the Democrat abuses don’t stop there. Let’s not forget a process in Green Bay so tainted by the mayor and his partisan Democrat operative staff that the clerk resigned in disgust. We quickly pointed out that Zuckerberg dollars initially were being directed almost exclusively to Democrat strongholds, and we support legislation to end it.

We will fight Democrats’ abuse of ballot harvesting and drop boxes, but if these actions are considered lawful, we intend to beat them at their own game with neighborhood teams in communities across the state, working to ensure Republican victories. 

We’ll work to make sure nursing homes aren’t used by Democrats as places where voters can be told whom to vote for by reporting abuses and fighting to allow observers.

We’ll recruit poll workers and fight to make sure election observers are allowed at polling locations and central counts, and that observation laws are followed so observers are stationed close enough to see what is actually happening.  And we need you to sign up to help!

And then we’ll ensure our elections are free, fair and honest by enacting laws that keep it easy to vote, but harder to cheat.


Summary of Election Reform Bills

Tony Evers refuses to acknowledge calls for election reforms across Wisconsin. That’s why we need to step up to the plate and do everything we can to defeat him so that our next governor can take these key election reform bills up when they take office.

Authorize an investigation into Wisconsin’s election administration (AR-15) – Sanfelippo


Allows the Assembly to issue subpoenas and gather documents to help understand what work needs to be done to help secure the integrity of Wisconsin’s elections.

Publication of WEC meeting minutes (Wisconsin Act 38) – Stroebel / Neylon
{Enacted into Law on 5/22/21}

  • Require the Wisconsin Elections Commission to post on its website the meeting minutes of any meeting of the commissioners no later than 24 hours after the meeting concludes.
  • Mirroring similar statutes, recommended enforcement actions where a person has not be charged with a crime and personnel matters are exempt from being published online.

Absentee voting uniformity (SB 204) – Stroebel / Gundrum
{Vetoed by Governor Evers}

  • Require all absentee ballot requests to include a copy of the voter’s photo ID (end current voter ID loopholes).
  • Require the Elections Commission to prescribe a uniform absentee ballot request form. Require voters to complete the form prior to receiving an absentee ballot.
  • End the automatic mailing of absentee ballots and absentee ballot applications mailed by the state, counties or municipalities. Exception: Indefinitely confined voters will receive absentee ballot applications.
  • Bar clerks from using ballots for absentee ballots cast in person during early voting that double as the written application required to receive a ballot under state law. It also would make it a felony for clerks to provide an absentee ballot without the required written application. (amendment)

Equal distribution of private funds for election operations (SB 207 / AB 173) – Stroebel / Neylon
{Vetoed by Governor Evers}

  • Prohibits local clerks and boards of elections (Milwaukee) from applying for or receiving private funds for the purpose of administering Wisconsin elections.
  • Requires that funds donated for election administration be consolidated by the Wisconsin Elections Commission and distributed equally on a per-capita basis (subject to JFC review) to all municipalities in the state.
  • Prohibit paid political campaign employees from serving as poll workers.

Security of absentee ballot delivery to municipal clerks (SB 203) – Stroebel / August
{Vetoed by Governor Evers}

  • End “ballot harvesting” by stipulating that only a voter, their immediate family member or legal guardian may return a voted absentee ballot to a municipal clerk or polling place. For voters with no family in Wisconsin they may designate in writing another voter who is not a candidate to return their ballot without compensation to the municipal clerk.
  • Expand current provisions for requesting an absentee ballot and returning a ballot by mail to include by any commercial parcel service (this allows a voter to use USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.).
  • Require any event at which voted absentee ballots are returned to the municipal clerk or his or her staff to comply with the same requirements for an early in-person voting location (i.e. “Democracy in the Park” type events).

Indefinitely confined voter reform (SB 206 / AB 180) – Stroebel / Duchow
{Senate referred to Committee on Senate Organization; Assembly referred to Committee on Campaigns and Elections}

  • Require statements of indefinite confinement to be made under oath or affirmation, with a medical professional concurring if the individual is under the age of 65. A false statement is a Class I felony.
  • Clarify that the existence of a pandemic does not make everyone indefinitely confined.
  • Require electors to re-enroll on the indefinitely confined list every 2 years.
  • Directs municipal clerks to remove a person from the list once they receive reliable information that the person is no longer indefinitely confined.
  • Require the Elections Commission to remove any person from the indefinitely confined rolls who applied for such statutes between March 12, 2020 and November 3, 2020. Those electors may, of course, apply again for indefinitely confined status under the provisions of the bill.

Long-term care facility voting integrity (SB 205) – Stroebel / Duchow
{Vetoed by Governor Evers}

  • Requires long term care facilities to which Special Voting Deputies are sent to notify the next-of-kin of every resident for whom they have next-of-kin information of the dates and times at which SVDs will visit the facility.
  • Clarify that any employee of a long-term care facility who influences a resident to apply for or not apply for an absentee ballot, cast or refrain from casting a ballot, or influences a resident’s decision for whom to cast a ballot is guilty of a Class I felony. Note: This does not prohibit these employees from confirming the voter’s residence and identity under the current SVD statute.

Venue for enforcing election law (SB 213 / AB 194) – Stroebel / Brooks
{Passed the Senate; Public Hearing Held in Assembly}

  • Allows district attorneys in counties that are part of a specific district to prosecute election law violations that occur in the district whether or not the violation occurred inside or outside of their county. This means that if a specific county doesn’t have the resources to pursue election law violations a DA in a county that is also part of the district in question (Assembly, Senate, Congressional district or even statewide for statewide offices) can assume that responsibility.
  • Allow any person who is not a DA or the Attorney General to file a complaint with the Wisconsin Elections Commission or, without waiting for WEC to render a decision, file a complaint in circuit court seeking enforcement of state election laws. Current law requires complaints to go to WEC and, once disposed of, a person may pursue a judicial remedy. This allows a person to pick which process (or both) they would like to use. Decisions made by a court will not be overturned by WEC.

Drop Boxes (SB 209 / AB 177) – Darling / Steffen
{Passed the Senate; Introduced in Assembly}

  • Currently, Wisconsin has no law allowing for the use of drop boxes to collect ballots.
  • Despite that, some communities allowed drop boxes at grocery stores and in city parks without much, if any, security.
  • This bill allows communities to designate one secure drop box at the location building where the municipal clerk’s office is permanently located. Communities with a population of 70,000 or more may authorize the use of 3 additional drop boxes.
  • The drop box must be tamper-resistant and moisture-resistant.
  • Requires boxes to be uniform and only allow one ballot at a time.
  • The drop box must be emptied once each day at 9:00 am by the clerk or deputy clerk in public view.
  • The clerk must publish notice of the location of the drop box and the days on which it is available for receiving absentee ballots.
  • Must be ADA compliant.

Observer and Election Official Protections (SB 210) – Darling / Tittl
{Vetoed by Governor Evers}

  • Election observers must be allowed uniform and nondiscriminatory access to all stages of the election process, including the certification of election technologies, early voting, absentee voting, voter appeals, vote tabulation, and recounts.
  • An election observer must wear a badge with the name of the individual and the name of the organization the individual is representing.
  • An election observer may not wear any campaign material advocating voting for or against a candidate or for or against any position on a question on the ballot.
  • An election observer may not interfere with any voter in the preparation or casting of the voter’s ballot or hinder or prevent the performance of the duties of any elected official.
  • An observer who interferes with an election official in their performance of their duties may be expelled. If they violate more than once, they may be subject to a disorderly conduct charge.
  • The bill expands the observation area must not be more than three feet from observers.

Ballot Curing (SB 212) – Darling / Sanfelippo
{Vetoed by Governor Evers}

  • Reinforce Wisconsin law that prevents ballot curing by clerks
  • Incorrect ballots must be returned (not “may”)
  • MyVote updated with status by Sunday before the election.
  • Clerks may not cure any information on ballots
  • Clerks may not intentionally assist or cause a vote or registration to be rejected when the election official knows the vote or registration is valid.
  • Clerks may not intentionally fail to promptly report election fraud committed by another election official.
  • Requires name, street address including apt. # when applicable, and city required.

Standardizing Absentee Ballot Form (SB 211 / AB 178) – Darling / Steffen
{Senate referred to committee on Senate Organization; Public Hearing Held in Assembly}

  • This bill creates a standardized form for requesting an absentee ballot in Wisconsin. It is based on the form created by WEC called the EL-122.
  • The form must contain all of the following information:
    • The voter’s municipality and county of residence
    • The voter’s name, date of birth, and contact information
    • The street address of the voter’s legal voting residence
    • The election at which the voter intends to vote absentee
    • Whether the voter is a military or overseas voter
    • The voter’s confidential identification serial number if that voter has obtained a confidential listing for purposes of voting.
    • The lawful method by which the voter prefers to receive the absentee ballot
    • Whether the voter is a hospitalized voter

Monday Count of Absentee Ballots (SB 214 / AB 310) – Stafsholt / Tauchen
{Available for Scheduling in Senate; Assembly referred to Committee on Campaigns and Elections}

  • Authorizes municipal clerks to being canvassing absentee ballots at 7 am on the Monday before an election. They must stop counting at 10 pm and may resume counting on Election Day. Specific security mechanisms and procedures must be in place and election observers must be allowed to watch the process.
  • At the request of municipal clerks, the bill standardizes the deadline for mailing absentee ballots to overseas voters. By aligning with federal law it is possible to eliminate the “A ballot” and “B ballot” issue during the presidential preference primary.
  • Authorize any city, town or village with a population of less than 35,000 to enter into an agreement to have shared polling places in order to save money.
  • Align the nominating petition deadline for non-party/independent candidates for president and vice president with the current partisan candidate deadline in June (current law has the deadline in August).
  • Prohibit the use of federally-mandated “presidential only” ballots (for electors who moved to Wisconsin too late to qualify as residents) for anyone who otherwise qualifies as a Wisconsin resident.

Presidential Election Day Switch (SB 284) – Stafsholt / Tauchen
{Senate referred to Committee on Elections, Election Process Reform and Ethics}

  • Changes the date of Wisconsin’s presidential preference primary from first Tuesday in April to the first Tuesday in March.
  • Note: This means Wisconsin’s primary would not, under RNC rules, for example, be “winner take all” and instead be proportional.

Broadcasting Election Night Proceedings (SB 292) – Wimberger / Sortwell
{Vetoed by Governor Evers}

  • If a municipality broadcasts canvassing proceedings live in any election, including by live stream on the Internet, the municipality must record the broadcast, and the municipal clerk must retain the recording for 22 months.

Despite Evers’ inaction, one of the best ways we can take action is by serving as poll workers and recruiting our friends and family to do the same. Poll workers are charged with ensuring our polling locations are run correctly and to the letter of the law. While Election Day is over a year away, the deadline to become a paid poll worker is fast approaching on November 30th.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin and the Republican National Committee have brought on staff to help with the recruitment and submission of poll workers. We have sent out resources and a myriad of names of interested individuals to all county parties. The submission of Republican poll workers runs through your local county parties, so be sure that you are getting in touch with them! To get further involved, email our Paid Poll Worker Recruitment Director: [email protected]. To find an upcoming paid poll worker training near you visit our Events page HERE. You can also sign up HERE to be reached out to regarding becoming a paid poll worker in your community.



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