Election legislation roundup: Wisconsin State Senate

As of May 21, Ballotpedia has tracked nine election-related bills in the Wisconsin State Senate since the beginning of the year. Of the nine, Ballotpedia tracked three from May 15-21. A bipartisan group of legislators sponsored two bills, while Republicans sponsored one. The three bills are below:   

  • WI SB278: Aids to counties and municipalities for certain special election costs and making an appropriation, Reps. Marisabel Cabrera (D), Sylvia Ortiz-Velez (D), Lisa Subeck (D), Elijah Behnke (R), Janel Brandtjen (R), James Edming (R), Scott Krug (R), Gae Magnafici (R), David Murphy (R), Shae Sortwell (R), and David Steffen (R) and Sens. Mark Spreitzer (D), Lena Taylor (D), and Andre Jacque (R).
    • As introduced, this bill provides that the commission will reimburse counties and municipalities the costs incurred in administering certain special primaries or special elections for state office.
  • WI SB286: The number of signatures on nomination papers, Reps. Clinton Anderson (D), Deb Andraca (D), Marisabel Cabrera (D), Sue Conley (D), Alex Joers (D), Sylvia Ortiz-Velez (D), Christine Sinicki (D), Shelia Stubbs (D), Lisa Subeck (D), Scott Allen (R), Ty Bodden (R), Janel Brandtjen (R), Rick Gundrum (R), Nate Gustafson (R), David Murphy (R), Shae Sortwell (R), and Paul Tittl (R) and Sens. Tim Carpenter (D), Mark Spreitzer (D), Lena Taylor (D), Joan Ballweg (R), Rachael Cabral-Guevara (R), Jesse James (R), and Cory Tomczyk (R).
    • As introduced, this bill directs election officials to examine all signatures on nomination papers, including beyond the number of required signatures, to determine if the candidate has sufficient signatures to be on the ballot.
  • WI SB292: Filing a complaint with the Elections Commission, Reps. Scott Allen (R), David Armstrong (R), Elijah Behnke (R), Ty Bodden (R), Janel Brandtjen (R), Nate Gustafson (R), Dave Maxey (R), and David Murphy (R) and Sens. Joan Ballweg (R), Andre Jacque (R), Stephen Nass (R), Romaine Quinn (R), and Duey Stroebel (R). 
    • As introduced, this bill allows the adult child or parent of a voter, in addition to the voter him or herself, to file a complaint with the commission regarding an election official taking action inconsistent with the law.

During the week of May 15-21, Ballotpedia tracked 26 Senate election-related bills nationally. As of May 21, Ballotpedia has tracked 963 Senate bills nationally. Ballotpedia tracked the most Senate bills this year in the New York State Senate with 147, while Ballotpedia tracked the fewest Senate bills in the Massachusetts State Senate with zero.

As of May 21, Ballotpedia has tracked 447 Senate bills in Democratic trifectas and 398 Senate bills in Republican trifectas. A trifecta is when one political party holds the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. Ballotpedia has tracked 118 Senate bills in states where neither party holds trifecta control.

The Wisconsin Senate is scheduled to be in session from Jan. 3 to Dec. 31 this year. In 2022, Ballotpedia tracked 37 Senate bills related to election administration. Two of these bills passed both chambers and both were enacted into law. Wisconsin is a divided government, meaning neither party holds trifecta control.

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