Election legislation roundup: Wisconsin State Assembly

As of Oct. 22, Ballotpedia has tracked 17 election-related bills in the Wisconsin State Assembly since the beginning of the year. Of the 17, Ballotpedia tracked two from Oct. 16-22. Republicans sponsored both of the bills. The two bills are below:   

  • WI AB490: Wisconsin’s membership agreement with the Electronic Registration Information Center (FE), Reps. Scott Allen (R), Elijah Behnke (R), Amy Binsfeld (R), Ty Bodden (R), Janel Brandtjen (R), Robert Brooks (R), Joy Goeben (R), Rick Gundrum (R), Nate Gustafson (R), Tom Michalski (R), David Murphy (R), Jerry O’Connor (R), Nik Rettinger (R), Peter Schmidt (R), and Chuck Wichgers (R), and Sens. Mary Felzkowski (R), Stephen Nass (R), Romaine Quinn (R), Rob Stafsholt (R), Duey Stroebel (R), and Cory Tomczyk (R).
    • “As introduced, this bill terminates the state’s agreement with the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) and prohibits any state agency from becoming a member of the Electronic Registration Information Center.”
  • WI AB494: Status as an indefinitely confined voter for purposes of automatically receiving absentee ballots and providing a penalty (FE), Reps. David Armstrong (R), Barbara Dittrich (R), Cindi Duchow (R), James Edming (R), Joy Goeben (R), Joel Kitchens (R), Gae Magnafici (R), Dave Maxey (R), David Murphy (R), Amanda Nedweski (R), Jerry O’Connor (R), and Nik Rettinger (R), and Sen. Dan Knodl (R).
    • “As introduced, this bill:
      • Establishes that if a voter from Wisconsin who moves out-of-state is ineligible to qualify to vote out-of-state, the voter may vote an absentee ballot in the ward of the voter’s prior residence in a presidential election occurring within 24 months of leaving the state.
      • Outlines administrative procedures for the clerk to verify the identity of the person making the request.
      • Specifies that the voter may submit a written application that does not require an original signature.
      • Extends the description of those who qualify to be placed on the permanent absentee voter list to those who cannot travel because of significant burden due to frailty or disability that is expected to last more than one year.
      • Tasks the commission with creating a separate application form for those who are indefinitely confined with prominent markings about the voter’s indefinitely confined status.”
      • Click the hyperlinked bill number above for more information.

During the week of Oct. 16-22, Ballotpedia tracked 14 House election-related bills nationally. As of Oct. 22, Ballotpedia has tracked 1,767 House bills nationally. Ballotpedia tracked the most House bills this year in the New York State Assembly and the Texas House of Representatives with 195 each, while Ballotpedia tracked the fewest House bills in the Colorado House of Representatives with seven. 

As of Oct. 22, Ballotpedia has tracked 784 House bills in Democratic trifectas and 752 House 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 231 House bills in states where neither party holds trifecta control. 

The Wisconsin Assembly is scheduled to be in session from Jan. 3 to Dec. 31 this year. In 2022, Ballotpedia tracked 43 House bills related to election administration. None of these bills passed both chambers. Wisconsin is a divided government, meaning neither party holds trifecta control.

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