Wisconsin Terms of County Officers Amendment, Question 1 (April 2005)

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Wisconsin Referendum Question, also known as 4-Year Terms: Certain County Officers, was an legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the April 5, 2005 special election ballot in Wisconsin, where it was approved.

This measure approved amendment to Article VI, Sec. 4(1), 4(3) and 4(4) and Section 12 of Article VII of the Wisconsin Constitution.[1]

The impact of the enactment of this amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution was to:

  • Require counties to elect county clerks and treasurers every 4 years.
  • Change the terms of office from 2 years to 4 years for district attorneys, coroners, elected surveyors, registers of deeds, treasurers, county clerks, and clerks of circuit court.

Election results

Referendum Question 2005
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 534,742 75.13%
No177,03724.87%

Official results via: The Wisconsin Blue Book 2005-2006

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

4-year terms of office for certain county officers. Shall section 4 of article VI and section 12 of article VII of the constitution be amended to provide that district attorneys, coroners, elected surveyors, registers of deeds, treasurers, county clerks, and clerks of circuit court be elected to 4-year terms?

Constitutional changes

Section 1. Section 4 (1) of article VI of the constitution is renumbered section 4 (1) (a) of article VI and amended to read:
[Article VI] Section 4 (1) (a) Except as provided in pars. (b) and (c) and sub. (2), coroners, registers of deeds, district attorneys, and all other elected county officers, except judicial officers, sheriffs, and chief executive officers, shall be chosen by the electors of the respective counties once in every 2 years.
Section 2. Section 4 (1) (b) and (c) of article VI of the constitution are created to read:
[Article VI] Section 4 (1) (b) Beginning with the first general election at which the governor is elected which occurs after the ratification of this paragraph, sheriffs shall be chosen by the electors of the respective counties, or by the electors of all of the respective counties comprising each combination of counties combined by the legislature for that purpose, for the term of 4 years and coroners in counties in which there is a coroner shall be chosen by the electors of the respective counties, or by the electors of all of the respective counties comprising each combination of counties combined by the legislature for that purpose, for the term of 4 years.
(c) Beginning with the first general election at which the president is elected which occurs after the ratification of this paragraph, district attorneys, registers of deeds, county clerks, and treasurers shall be chosen by the electors of the respective counties, or by the electors of all of the respective counties comprising each combination of counties combined by the legislature for that purpose, for the term of 4 years and surveyors in counties in which the office of surveyor is filled by election shall be chosen by the electors of the respective counties, or by the electors of all of the respective counties comprising each combination of counties combined by the legislature for that purpose, for the term of 4 years.
Section 3 Section 4 (3) (c) of article VI of the constitution is amended so as in effect to repeal said paragraph:
[Article VI] Section 4 (3) (c) Beginning with the first general election at which the governor is elected which occurs after the ratification of this paragraph, sheriffs shall be chosen by the electors of the respective counties once in every 4 years.
Section 4. Section 4 (4) of article VI of the constitution is amended to read:
[Article VI] Section 4 (4) The governor may remove any elected county officer mentioned in this section except a county clerk, treasurer, or surveyor, giving to the officer a copy of the charges and an opportunity of being heard.
Section 5. Section 12 of article VII of the constitution is renumbered section 12 (1) of article VII and amended to read:
[Article VII] Section 12 (1) There shall be a clerk of the circuit court chosen in each county organized for judicial purposes by the qualified electors thereof, who, except as provided in sub. (2), shall hold his office for two years, subject to removal as shall be provided by law; in.
(3) In case of a vacancy, the judge of the circuit court <s>shall have power to
may appoint a clerk until the vacancy shall be is filled by an election; the.
(4) The clerk thus elected or appointed of circuit court shall give such security as the legislature may require requires by law.
(5) The supreme court shall appoint its own clerk, and may appoint a clerk of the circuit court may be appointed a to be the clerk of the supreme court.
Section 6. Section 12 (2) of article VII of the constitution is created to read:
[Article VII] Section 12 (2) Beginning with the first general election at which the governor is elected which occurs after the ratification of this subsection, a clerk of circuit court shall be chosen by the electors of each county, for the term of 4 years, subject to removal as provided by law. [2]

Path to the ballot

  • First Legislative Approval: AJR 10 & JR 12 (2003)
  • Second Legislative Approval: SJR 2& JR 2 (2005)[3]

See also

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