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Proposal would allow electronic voting in State Bar elections

Wisconsin’s mandatory bar association recently filed a rule-change proposal that would allow its members to vote electronically in elections.

Under the proposal, members who are eligible would get an email containing a link to a secure page where they could vote online, according to the State Bar of Wisconsin’s memo filed with the proposal. Members without an email or those who do not want electronic communications with the State Bar would continue receiving a paper ballot in the mail.

The move to electronic voting would save the bar money and encourage more lawyers to vote, according the memo. In 2018, the bar spent $41,487 to send out paper ballots, and the participation rate has held steady over the last three years at 25 percent of the state’s roughly 25,000 lawyers.

The memo also notes that the bar’s divisions have been using an electronic voting process for several years, resulting in more participation.

At its last meeting, the State Bar’s Board of Governors approved changes to its bylaws as well as the filing of the proposal with the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The high court will vote on whether to accept the petition and then decide whether to put the proposal to a public hearing.

About Erika Strebel, [email protected]

Erika Strebel is the law beat reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal and a law school student at UW-Madison. She can be reached at 414-225-1825.

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