Appointments & Vacancies FAQ 9

Can a person vote to fill his/her own vacancy on a municipal governmental body such as a village board or city council?

No. There are two basic scenarios presented by this question. The first is when the outgoing member seeks to vote before they have vacated their office. The second is where the member seeks to vote after they have vacated their office.

In the first scenario, the outgoing member cannot vote on the vacancy because there is no vacancy to fill. The outgoing member is still a member of the body at the time of the vote.

In the second scenario, the former member cannot vote on the vacancy because they are no longer a member of the body. As a non-member, that person has no authority to cast a vote on any issue as part of the body they no longer belong to. An exception to this arises when a current village trustee is appointed to fill a vacant village president position pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 61.325. In that instance, the trustee appointed as president would still be a voting member of the governing body and able to participate in a vote to fill the now vacant trustee position. (rev. 10/19)