How to Vote in Wisconsin
Any eligible citizen over the age of 18 can vote in Wisconsin, but you need to follow the correct steps to ensure that you are a registered voter before you cast your ballot.
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How to Register to Vote in Wisconsin
There are four ways for voters to register in Wisconsin.
- By mail;
- In person at the municipal clerk’s office;
- At your assigned polling place on Election Day.
The deadlines depend on the method you choose for registration, and they vary from 20 days before the election to the Friday before the election. In Wisconsin, you can also register at your assigned polling place.
You need a state-issued ID or other proof of residence, such as a recent tax document, a paystub, or a utility bill that bears your name.
You can register online up to 20 days before the election.
To register online, you need a state-issued ID card or DMV-issued driver’s license. You register at the MyVote Wisconsin website, which will ask you to enter your name, date of birth, ID or license number, and address.
Note that the address you enter should match the one on record with the Wisconsin DMV. If you provide accurate information, you should be able to register online without having to provide proof of residence.
However, if the information you enter does not match your current record, you will not be allowed to register, and you may have to explore other registration options, such as visiting the county clerk’s office.
Registering by Mail
You can register to vote by mail up to 20 days before the election.
To register to vote by mail, you download and print the registration form from the Wisconsin elections website. You then fill it out and mail it to the municipal clerk’s office. You need to include a proof of residence document with your registration form.
Registering at the Municipal Clerk’s Office
You can register to vote at the municipal clerk’s office. The deadline for this method is the close of business on the Friday before the election.
You must present a state ID or driver’s license to the clerk. You may use another proof of residence document and the last four digits of your Social Security number as alternative identifiers. They can guide you through the registration process, so if you need additional assistance or have questions, this could be the best registration method for you.
Registering on Election Day
If you miss the other deadlines, you can register at your assigned polling place on Election Day.
Wisconsin no longer allows you to bring a witness to verify your residency status. You must produce an official state ID or proof of residence to register on Election Day. You can find the correct polling place on the Wisconsin elections website.
Am I Registered to Vote in Wisconsin?
If you’re not sure whether you’re registered to vote in the State of Wisconsin, you can check your registration status on the MyVote Wisconsin website. Also, you may visit the municipal clerk’s office to ask about your status. They will be able to check for you.
Early Voting in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is one of the states that allow early voting. If you’re interested in voting early in person, you can do it at the municipal clerk’s office. The exact dates and hours for early voting are different from one municipality to the next, but you may contact your local office to find out the details and deadlines.
Another option is to vote by mail using an absentee ballot. You can obtain an absentee ballot online via the MyVote Wisconsin website and mail it to the municipal clerk’s office up to 47 days before the election. Regardless of the postmark date, the ballot must get to the clerk’s office no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Voting in Wisconsin on Election Day
Information about your polling place is available on the MyVote Wisconsin website, where you can enter your address to find your assigned polling place. You can also call or visit your municipal clerk’s office.
All polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. across the state, but you may need to account for wait times if the lines at your polling place are long.
If you register at your polling place, you need to bring ID or acceptable proof of residence documents with you.
Why Voting Is Important
When voting, you help determine who your local, state, and federal government representatives will be. These officials decide issues such as state tax rates, and they approve legislation about minimum wage, consumer protections, and other financial and social issues that could affect your everyday life.
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This post was updated March 24, 2020. It was originally published March 24, 2020.