Is a person convicted of a felony an eligible elector in Wisconsin?
It depends on whether the person’s voting
rights have been restored. Persons convicted of felonies are precluded
from voting by the Wisconsin constitution and statutes unless their civil rights are restored.
Art. III, sec. 2, Wis. Const.; Wis. Stat. sec. 6.03(1)(b). In
Wisconsin, the civil rights of every person who is convicted of a crime,
including a felony, are restored if they serve out their term of
imprisonment or otherwise satisfy their sentence or are granted a pardon
by the governor. Wis. Stat. sec. 304.078; Art. V, sec. 6, Wis. Const.
However, it must be emphasized that the
Wisconsin constitutional provisions making persons convicted of a felony
and certain federal crimes or state misdemeanors ineligible to any
elected office provides an exception for restoration of this civil right
only by pardon. Art. XIII, sec. 3(2), Wis. Const. Therefore the
provisions of Wis. Stat. sec. 304.078 do not operate to restore a
person's right to hold public office in Wisconsin after conviction of
such an offense and the person may hold public office only if they have
been pardoned of the conviction.