Wisconsin Election Information

Get all the election and voter information you need below.

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Upcoming Elections in Your State

2014 Wisconsin Spring Primary Election: February 18, 2014

2014 Wisconsin Spring Election: April 1, 2014

2014 Primary Election: August 12, 2014

2014 General Election: November 4, 2014

For more information, visit the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board website.

Other Important Election Information

Election Day: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

In Wisconsin, early voting consists of filling out an absentee ballot in-person at the municipal clerk’s office.  In-person absentee voting runs on weekdays for two weeks before an election, ending at 5 PM or the close of business (whichever is later) on the Friday before the election.  In 2014, the dates are:

  • 2014 Primary Election Early Voting: July 28 to August 8
  • 2014 General Election Early Voting: October 20 to October 31

How to Find Your Polling Place

Visit the My Vote Wisconsin webpage. 


REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Registration Deadlines

There is no registration deadline in Wisconsin. Voters may register:

  • By mail, up to 20 days before the election;
  • In person at the municipal clerk’s office, up to the Friday before the election at 5:00 PM or close of business, whichever is later; or
  • In person at the polls on Election Day.

How to Check if You Are Registered

To verify your registration status, check the My Vote Wisconsin webpage. You can also call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).

How to Register

Online

Individuals may not register to vote online in Wisconsin.

In-Person

Individuals may register to vote in person at the polls on Election Day.

You must always provide a proof of residence document when registering.

If you attempt to register at the polls and have a current and valid Wisconsin driver's license or state ID card, but are unable or unwilling to provide the card number at that time, you will be required to vote a Provisional ballot, which will only be counted if you provide the required information to the poll workers by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day or the municipal clerk by 4:00 p.m. of the Friday following the election.

Provisional ballots will not be given to individuals who attempt to register at the polls on Election Day without providing a proof of residence document.

They may also register in-person at the municipal clerk’s office.  Registration at the municipal clerk’s office ends the Friday before the election at 5:00 PM or close of business, whichever is later.  Voters can use the municipal clerks directory or search for their municipal clerk on My Vote Wisconsin.

You must always provide a proof of residence document when registering.

By Mail

You can register by mail up to 20 days before the election.

If you are a first time voter in the State of Wisconsin and you register by mail, you must provide proof of residence.  This cannot be a residential lease.

By Special Registration Deputy (SRD)

Municipal SRDs must turn in all registration forms by 5:00 PM on the 20th day before the election and cannot collect registrations after that date.

You must always provide a proof of residence document when registering.

Registration Eligibility

You may register to vote by mail, in person at the municipal clerk’s office, or at the polls on Election Day.

You must be a resident of your current address for 28 days.

  • Voters who have moved within Wisconsin less than 28 days before the election must vote using their previous address, either by absentee ballot or at the polling place.
  • Voters who have moved to Wisconsin from another state less than 28 days before an election are only eligible to vote in Presidential elections.

A proof of residence document is always needed when registering to vote in Wisconsin.  (Note: If you are an active military voter or a permanent overseas voter with no intent to return to the U.S, then you do not need to provide a proof of residence document.)

Proof of residence examples include:

  • Current and valid Wisconsin driver's license or state ID card with the voter’s current name and address;
  • Official I.D. card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit;
  • Employer-issued photo I.D. card, issued in the normal course of business, but not a business card;
  • Real estate (i.e., property) tax bill or receipt for the current year or the year preceding the dating of the election;
  • University, college or technical college photo I.D. card, but only if the voter provides a fee receipt dated within the last nine months or the institution provides a certified housing list to the municipal clerk;
  • Gas, electric, or telephone service statement (utility bill) for the period commencing not earlier than 90 days before Election Day;
  • Bank statement;
  • Paycheck or a government check or other document issued by a unit of government;
  • Affidavit on public or private social service agency letterhead identifying a homeless voter and describing the individual’s residence for voting purposes; and
  • Residential lease that is effective on the date of registration. (This is not valid if the voter is registering for the first time in Wisconsin by mail.)

Note: The proof of residence provided must contain the applicant's name and current address.

Applicants may present their proof of residence document as a hard copy or paper document.  They may also present the document on their smartphone, tablet, or computer.  An Internet connection will not be provided for this use.

If you are unsure if your document will qualify as acceptable proof of residence, please call your municipal clerk or 1-866-VOTE-WIS.  You may also email gab@wi.gov.

Identification Required for Registration

If you have been issued a Wisconsin driver’s license, and it is current and valid, you must provide the number and expiration date.

If an applicant has not been issued a Wisconsin driver’s license, he or she must submit his or her Wisconsin DOT-issued ID number or the last four digits of his or her social security number.

If You Want to Vote Early

In Wisconsin, early voting consists of filling out an absentee ballot in-person at the municipal clerk’s office.  See below for in-person absentee ballot procedures.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

You do not need a reason or excuse, such as being out of town on Election Day, to vote absentee.  Any voter who prefers to vote by absentee ballot may request one.           

Request an Absentee Ballot by Mail

If you are a registered Wisconsin voter, you can download the Application For Absentee Ballot (GAB-121).  Just complete the form, and mail it to your municipal clerk's office.  You can find your clerk at My Vote WI: myvote.wi.gov by searching for your voter record or performing an address search.  You can also find your clerk by searching through the list of all Wisconsin municipal clerks.  Your application must be received by the clerk no later than 5:00 PM on the Thursday before the election in order for an absentee ballot to be SENT to you. 

If you are not already registered, you will need to register to vote before an absentee ballot can be sent to you.

Military and Overseas voters have additional options for absentee ballot delivery.  Click here for MilitaryClick here for Overseas.

Request an Absentee Ballot by E-Mail or Fax

Regular Wisconsin voters may also request that a ballot be sent to them by sending an e-mail or fax to their municipal clerk.  This request must be made no later than 5:00 PM on the Thursday before the election in order for an absentee ballot to be SENT to you.

Options and Deadlines for Returning Your Absentee Ballot

  • U.S. Postal Service: Your completed absentee ballot must be postmarked no later than Election Day and received by the municipal clerk no later than 4 PM on the Friday after the election.
  • Other delivery (FedEx, hand-delivery, etc.): Your completed absentee ballot must be delivered to the municipal clerk no later than 8 PM on Election Day.

In-Person at your Municipal Clerk's Office (Early Voting)

You can also vote absentee at your local municipal clerk's office. 

  • If you apply for an absentee ballot in your municipal clerk's office, you must vote immediately, seal your ballot in the proper envelope, and return it to a member of the clerk's staff.
  • No ballots may be taken from the clerk's office.

In-person absentee voting (also known as early voting) runs on weekdays for two weeks before an election, ending at 5 PM or the close of business (whichever is later) on the Friday before the election.  Early voting is no longer permitted on weekends.  In 2014, the dates are:

  • 2014 Wisconsin Primary Election: July 28 to August 8
  • 2014 Wisconsin General Election: October 20 to 31

 Please check with your municipal clerk for office hours and locations.

Note: Previously, voters who cast an absentee ballot and changed their minds could go to the polls on Election Day, and their absentee ballot would not be counted. This is no longer an option. Voters who have returned a completed absentee ballot are prohibited from voting at the polling place on Election Day.

Instructions for Completing Absentee Ballot

You can find detailed instructions here: Uniform Instructions for Absentee Voters.

If you do not know who your clerk is, or where the clerk's office is located, please use My Vote WI: myvote.wi.gov.     

 

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

A recent decision of the United States Supreme Court on October 9 suspended Wisconsin’s photo ID requirement to cast a ballot for the November 2014 election, which means that voters are NOT REQUIRED TO SHOW PHOTO ID TO VOTE ON ELECTION DAY THIS YEAR

Nonetheless, if you are registering to vote at the polls or at an early voting site, you still must meet the identification requirements to register to vote described immediately above in “Identification Requirements to Register to Vote.”

Change of Address

If your address has changed, you need to re-register to vote. Remember:

  • Wisconsin law requires that you live at your current address for 28 consecutive days to be eligible to vote from your new address.
  • If you have lived at your new address for less than 28 consecutive days before the election you are still eligible to vote from your former address.
  • If you have moved to Wisconsin less than 28 consecutive days before an election you may be eligible to cast a Presidential-only ballot.

Change of Name

If your name changes, even if you are at the same address, you must fill out an updated voter registration application.

For voting purposes, a name change is not effective until you have updated the name on your Wisconsin driver’s license, Wisconsin state ID card, or Social Security card.  If you are updating your name with the Wisconsin DMV, you must first change your name with the Social Security Administration. Once your name has been changed with SSA, you can change your name with the DMV immediately.

Even if you have recently married or divorced—or changed your name by court order—if you have not updated your name with that agency, you should continue to register and vote under your previous name.

When registering to vote under your new name, you will need to provide your driver’s license number (if your license has your new name on it).  If you do not have a Wisconsin driver’s license, you can instead provide your Wisconsin state ID card number (if your card has your new name on it) or the last four digits of your Social Security Number (if your card has your new name on it).

Wisconsin law requires that the name on the poll book conform to the individual’s voter registration form.  If your entire previous name is contained in your new name—for example, if you hyphenate your name—the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board has decided that the names “conform.”  However, the GAB recommends that your voter registration should always be updated to reflect your legal name.

Change of Name and Address

If an elector has changed both his or her name and address, he or she must complete a registration form at the polling place or other registration location and present acceptable proof of residence.

You are a military voter if you are:

  • A member of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard, the Commissioned Corps of the Federal Public Health Service or the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration;
  • A member of the merchant marine of the United States;
  • A civilian employee of the United States and civilians officially attached to the uniformed services who are serving outside the United States;
  • A Peace Corps volunteer; or
  • A spouse or dependent of someone listed above, if you live or accompany them.

Requesting an Absentee Ballot

Unlike a regular voter, a military voter can request and receive an absentee ballot online at My Vote WI: myvote.wi.gov.  You can also complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and mail, fax or email it to your municipal clerk.  Or, you can notify your municipal clerk in writing (by mail, email, or fax) that you are a military voter and are requesting an absentee ballot

Clerks must receive a military elector’s absentee ballot request no later than 5 PM on the Friday before an election.  For elections containing a national office on the ballot, military electors who are on active duty away from their residence may request an absentee ballot until 5 p.m. on Election Day.

Military electors are exempt from registration.  However, you will need to provide information similar to someone registering to ensure you get the correct ballot.

Receiving your Absentee Ballot

Military electors can choose to receive their absentee ballot by mail, email, or fax.  You may not return your voted ballot electronically. Military electors can also access their absentee ballots online at My Vote WI: myvote.wi.gov.  If a mailed absentee ballot does not arrive in time, you may use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB), which is available online, at U.S. embassies, and from Military Voting Assistance Officers.

Voting and Returning Your Absentee Ballot

You must mark your ballot in the presence of a witness who is a U.S. citizen.

After you vote your ballot, place it in the envelope and complete the absentee ballot certification.

Make sure you sign and date the certificate, provide your date of birth, have a U.S. citizen sign as a witness, and provide the witness' address.

Return your absentee ballot to your municipal clerk by mail.

The absentee ballot must be postmarked by Election Day and received in the clerk’s office no later than 4 PM on the Friday after the election.

Federal Voting Assistance Program

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) Wisconsin-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.  Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP's Wisconsin-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned with receiving their printed ballot and returning it by the 7:00 p.m., Election Day deadline.  The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write-in their choices.  The FWAB may also be used to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step.  If the FWAB is being used to register to vote, it must be received by the voter registration deadline.  

You are not eligible to vote in Wisconsin if you have been convicted of a felony and you are currently serving any portion of your sentence (including extended supervision, probation, or parole).

Once you successfully complete your sentence and are no longer under the supervision of the Department of Corrections (“off paper”) your voting rights are restored, and you regain your eligibility to vote.  You must re-register to vote.

  • You do not need to provide any special documents, other than proof of residence, in order to register.
  • You do have to certify on your voter registration form that you are no longer under correctional supervision.
  • Since residency for voting purposes is different from residency for other purposes, you may register at a half-way house or other facility, even if their rules state it is not a residence for other purposes.

FAQ

Electionary

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with mental disabilities, visit The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and National Disability Rights Network’s document: Voting Rights Guide for People with Mental Disabilities.”

For more information for student voters, visit the Wisconsin Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights


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