Vote411.org
League of Women Voters

Search by State & Topic

Eligibility Requirements

Wisconsin

To be eligible to vote in Wisconsin you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • 18 years or older on Election Day
  • A resident of Wisconsin at least 10 consecutive days before the election
  • Registered to vote or are registering on Election Day

You are ineligible to vote in Wisconsin if you:

  • Have already voted in the election
  • Are still required to report to a probation or parole officer because of a felony conviction
  • Have been ruled incapable of voting by a judge
  • Have made or become interested, directly or indirectly, in any bet or wager depending upon the result of the election

You will have to prove residency by providing adequate identification. See "ID Needed for Voter Registration" below for more information.

ID Needed for Voter Registration

Wisconsin

You can now register to vote online! You will need a WI driver's license or ID in order to complete the online registration. If you do not have either form of ID you can either mail the registration papers or register to vote in person.

To register to vote, you are required to supply your Wisconsin department of transportation issued driver's license or ID card number. If you have not been issued a Wisconsin driver's license or ID, you must provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security number or your Wisconsin state ID card number. Alternately, you may indicate that you have not been issued a Wisconsin driver's license, ID, or Social Security number. Your registration cannot be processed until you provide this information.

You must provide proof of residence in order to establish your current address. The following constitute acceptable proof of residence (must contain your current and complete name, a current and complete residential address, including a numbered street address, if any and the name of a municipality):

  • A current and valid Wisconsin driver's license
  • A current and valid Wisconsin ID card
  • Any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit
  • Any ID card issued by an employer in the normal course of business and bearing a photo of the card holder, but not including a business card
  • A real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year or the year preceding the date of the election
  • A residential lease which is effective on day of registration (this will not be sufficient for first time voters registering by mail)
  • A university, college or technical institute fee statement within the last 9 months with a student ID
  • A utility bill (gas, electric or telephone service) received within the past 90 days
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck
  • A check or other document issued by a unit of government

More proof of residence examples can be found here.

ID Needed for Voting?

Wisconsin

Photo ID is required before you may vote.

The following types of photo ID are acceptable and may be unexpired or expired after the date of the most recent general election:

  • A Wisconsin DOT issued drivers license, even if driving privileges are revoked or suspended
  • A Wisconsin DOT issued ID card
  • Military ID card issued by a US uniformed service
  • US Passport (booklet or card)
  • A photo ID card issued by a Wisconsin accredited university or college that contains date of issuance, signature of student and an expiration date no later than two years after date of issuance. Also, the university or college ID must be accompanied by a separate document that proves enrollment (may be used even if expired before the most recent general election).

The following types of ID are acceptable if they are unexpired:

  • Certificate of naturalization that was issued no earlier than two years before the date of the election
  • Driving receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT (valid for 45 days)
  • ID card receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT (valid for 45 days)
  • Citation or notice of intent to revoke or suspend a Wisconsin DOT issued drivers license that is dated within 60 days of the date of the election.
  • Veteran's photo ID card issued by the Veterans Health Administration of the federal Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Temporary ID card receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT through the Identification Petition Process (IDPP) (valid for 180 days)

You may show an ID card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin as well, if it is expired or unexpired.

The address on your photo ID card does not have to be current. The name on your photo ID card dose not need to be an exact match for your name in the poll book.

Free photo ID cards available.

If you need a photo ID card in order to vote you can take any of the following documents (original copies only, no photocopies) to your DMV office and fill out an application for ID. You will need one document from each category below to satisfy the application. Your ID will be sent to you through the mail. You will receive a receipt that is valid for 45 days that you can use at the polls until your card arrives.

If you do not have a birth certificate or other documents, you can still obtain a document for voting that is valid for 180 days after one visit to the DMV using its petition process known as IDPP.

Proof of Name and Date of Birth:

  • Certified birth certificate from Wisconsin
  • Certified birth certification from another state or territory of the United States or a certificate of birth abroad issued by the US Department of State. Wisconsin will NOT accept any Puerto Rican birth certificate certified before July 1, 2010.
  • Current, non-expired, US passport
  • Valid foreign passport with federal I-551 or I-94, arrival and departure record
  • Valid Wisconsin driver license/DOT issued ID card with your photo and signature
  • Federal I-551 Alien Registration Receipt Card
  • Feder I-94 Arrival-Departure Record (Parole or Refugees Version), a reception and placement program assurance form plus a letter from sponsoring agency and MV3002
  • US Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570)
  • Us Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561)
  • Federal temporary resident card or employment authorization card (I-688, I-688B or I-766)
  • Native American ID Card issued in Wisconsin by a federally recognized tribe
  • Court order with court seal related to the adoption or divorce of the individual or to a name or gender change that includes the person's current full legal name, date of birth and the person's prior name. This does not include an abstract of criminal or civil conviction
  • Armed Forces of the US ID card; Common Access Card of DD Form 2
  • TSA Transpiration Worker ID Credential (TWIC card)

Proof of Identity:

  • A valid WI or out-of-state driver license (not a Canadian driver license) with your photo. Temporary out-of-state driving receipts are not acceptable
  • Military discharge papers, including Federal DD-214
  • US Government and Military Dependent ID Card
  • A valid WI or out of state ID card (not Canadian) with your photo
  • Certified copy of a Marriage Certificate or Judgment of Divorce
  • Social Security Card issued by the Social Security Administration
  • If you are under 18, your parent or legal guardian can show a valid WI driver license or ID card to confirm your identity
  • TSA Transportation Worker ID Credential (TWIC card)

Proof of Citizenship or Legal Status:

  • US state or local government-issued certificate of birth (certified copy - birth registration and hospital certificates are not acceptable)
  • Valid US passport
  • US Certificate of Citizenship (federal form N-560 or N-561)
  • US Certificate of Naturalization (federal form N-550 or N-570)
  • DHS/Transportation Security Administration (TSA) transportation worker ID credential

Proof of Wisconsin Residency:

  • Employee photo ID card issued by your current employer, containing your employer's name and address. Your employer's telephone number may be required for verification.
  • Pay check or stub or earning statement with your name and WI address, and your employer's name and address, issued within the last 90 days. Your employer's telephone number may be required for verification
  • A utility bill for water, gas, electricity or landline telephone service issued within the last 90 days. Cable or similar bundles of service that include landline telephone service is included in this category. Electronic copies are acceptable
  • Cell phone bills. Electronic copies are acceptable
  • An account statement from a WI bank/financial institution issued within the last 90 days. This includes savings, checking or money market accounts held in banks or credit unions. Electronic copies are acceptable
  • Certified school record or transcript that identifies you by name, shows your current address and is issued within the last 90 days for the most recent school period
  • Mortgage documents for a residential property located in Wisconsin
  • Community based/assisted living residential contracts
  • Your current valid homeowner, renter or motor vehicle insurance policy dated within one year of application
  • Government issued correspondence or product issued within the last 90 days from a federal, state, county or city agency
  • Department of Corrections document: Letters from probation/parole agents on letterhead issued within the last 90 days
  • Your college enrollment document or Form 2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status with your current WI address
  • A photo ID card issued by a WI accredited university or college that contains the following: date of issuance, signature of student, and an expiration date no later than two years after date of issuance. The university or college ID must be accompanied by a separate document that proves student's current address (housing contract or lease)
  • Valid Wisconsin hunting or fishing license.

If you are an absentee voter or have a sincere religious belief against being photographed, you may not need to show a photo ID in order to vote.

If you're in the military, live permanently overseas or are classified as a confidential elector, you do NOT need a photo ID to cast your absentee ballot.

If you are indefinitely confined (have difficulty traveling to the polling place due to age, physical illness, infirmity or disability), or live in a nursing home or care facility, you do NOT need to show your photo ID to vote.

If you wish to obtain an ID for voting purposes, but have spiritual beliefs which prevent you from being photographed, you can receive a State ID card without a photo at any DMV office.

For more information about photo ID please view your state's resource.

Registration Deadline

Wisconsin

You can now register to vote online! The mail and online voter registration deadline is the 20th day before the election. You can use the Mail in Voter registration form to register by mail. Contact your municipal clerk's office for more details.

Election day registration is available at your polling place.

Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application!

Verify Voter Registration

Wisconsin

To verify your voter registration status, please utilize your state resource.

For more information contact your Municipal Clerk.

Absentee Ballot Process

Wisconsin

Who Can Request an Absentee Ballot?

Any qualified elector who registers to vote in Wisconsin is eligible to request an absentee ballot. Under Wisconsin law, voters do not need a reason or excuse to vote absentee.

How to Request an Absentee Ballot

Request online. Registered voters may request an absentee ballot online by visiting myvote.wi.gov and clicking “Vote Absentee”. This request must be made no later than 5pm on the Thursday before the election.

Request by Mail. Download the application, complete the form and mail it to your municipal clerk's office. The application must be received no later than 5pm on the Thursday before the election.

Request by email or fax. You may request that a ballot be sent to you by sending an email or fax to your municipal clerk. Before the ballot can be counted the clerk must have received a request from the voter with an original signature. You can print your emailed request, sign it and return it with your ballot, but include it outside the certified ballot envelope. You must send your request to the clerk before 5pm on the Thursday before the election.

In Person. You may vote early in person – at the clerk’s office or another site designated by the clerk. Dates and hours for early voting may vary. Please contact your municipal clerk for absentee voting hours.

If you have not previously provided a copy of your photo ID, photo ID must accompany your application.

Military and permanent overseas voters do not need to provide a photo ID with their request.

Permanent Absentee Ballot

Voters who are indefinitely confined, meaning they have a difficult time getting to the polls due to age, illness, infirmity, or disability, may request that a ballot be automatically sent to them for each election. Indefinitely confined voters do not need to provide a photo ID with their absentee ballot request. Voters on the permanent absentee ballot list must vote in each election or they will be dropped from the absentee ballot rolls.

Deadline for Returning Your Absentee Ballot

Your complete absentee ballot must be delivered no later than 8pm on Election Day.

What if you are in the hospital? 

  • Each hospitalized voter can request a ballot (in writing), and the voter may appoint an agent to pick up the ballot from the hospitalized voter’s clerk’s office. Contact your local clerk. If you know you will be in the hospital, request a regular absentee ballot in advance.

Overseas and Military Voters

Wisconsin

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Early Voting

Wisconsin

Early voting is available in the form of in person absentee voting.

Each city, village and town in Wisconsin is responsible for setting the dates and hours of in-person absentee voting for their municipality.  To find the dates and hours for in-person absentee voting where you live, contact your municipal clerk.

Election Dates

Wisconsin

The next election date is Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (General Election). The registration deadline is Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Election Day registration is available.

Contact your local Municipal Clerk for information about local elections.

 

Poll Worker Information

Wisconsin

In order to be a poll worker in Wisconsin:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • Political affiliation generally required
  • You may be entitled to compensation
  • You must be a resident of election district for the 28 days prior to the election.
  • You must complete required training
  • Students 16 years or older who are enrolled in a high school with a minimum GPA of a 3.0 may work with written permission from a parent or guardian and school principal

You can find more information on becoming a poll worker here. To sign up, contact your local Municipal Clerk.

Polling Place Hours

Wisconsin

The polls will be open 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Time Off To Vote

Wisconsin

Employers must grant employees up to three successive hours to vote on Election Day while the polls are open. The employee must notify the employer of his/her intended absence. The employer may designate the time of day for the absence.

Polling Place Locator

Wisconsin

You can find your polling place by utilizing your state resource.

If you have further questions on your polling place location, please contact your municipal clerk.

Provisional Voting

Wisconsin

A provisional ballot is a ballot that is marked by a voter but is not counted at the time it is cast. It is issued to a voter who is unable to provide the poll worker with the required documentation. There are three instances where you may vote a provisional ballot:

  • A qualified voter who has been issued a current and valid Wisconsin driver's license registers to vote at a polling place on election day, but cannot list the driver's license number on the registration
  • A first-time Wisconsin voter who registers by mail but does not provide an identifying document establishing proof of residence at the time they submit the registration form and is unable to provide the required proof of residence at the polling place.
  • A registered voter is unable or unwilling to provide proof of ID

Provisional ballots are not given if the voter is in the wrong polling place or when a person is attempting to register in person at the polling place but does not provide proof of residence.

The provisional ballot will not be counted unless the voter provides the required information to the poll workers or the municipal clerk by 4pm on the Friday following the election.

Voting Machines

Wisconsin

The voting systems used in Wisconsin are optical scan, DRE, mechanical lever machine and paper ballots.

Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. When you are finished filling out all the cards, you may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that checks your card or paper right there at the polling place to make sure you have voted the way you want to and counts the votes.

Direct Recording Electronic (DRE): This is the newest kind of system in use in the U.S. All the information about who and what you are voting for is on an electronic screen like a TV or computer screen.

There are many variations of DREs because lots of companies are inventing new ones, and many cities, counties and states are trying them out. Usually, after you have signed in, the poll workers will give you a card that you slide into a device to start your voting session.

Some of these devices will show all of the candidates and ballot choices on one big screen. Often, with these big screen devices you push a button next to the name of the candidate you want to vote for (or yes or no on a ballot measure). On other DREs, the screen is set up to show pages. On each screen or page, there will probably be one thing to vote on. For example, on one screen or page, you might vote for president. Then you might move to the next page to vote for senator. Often these small-screen devices have a touch screen, where you touch the screen next to the name of the person you want to vote for. Other devices have a key pad. And some have a keyboard, so you can write in the name of someone you want to vote for.

You let the system know you are finished voting by pushing a button, touching the screen or entering something on a keypad.

Paper Ballots: Paper ballots are one of the oldest ways of voting in America. They are still used in a few places on Election Day. When you come to the polling place, you will get a paper ballot from the poll worker. You take it to the voting booth, and use a pen or pencil to mark a box next to your candidate and issue choices. You then drop the marked ballot into a sealed ballot box.

You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) resource.

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

Wisconsin

Information on local, state and federal candidates and ballot measures may be available here.

To see a list of available races, visit the race index.

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

Wisconsin

Wisconsin ensures that voting be accessible for individuals with disabilities, including non-visual accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, in a manner that provides equal access and participation (including privacy and independence).

Any voter who needs help at the polls has a right to assistance. By law, a polling place must be accessible to a person with disabilities. It is a good idea to check the accessibility of the polling place ahead of time. You may find the building not accessible or have trouble getting to the polling location inside the building. If so, you may request that a poll worker bring a ballot to the building entrance or bring a friend along to assist you. If your polling place is notaccessible, notify your city, town or village clerk's office and the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

You can have help in casting your ballot if you have problems reading or writing, have difficulty with the English language or have a disability which prevents you from being able to mark the ballot or operate the voting machine. Ask for help when you give your name and address to the poll worker. Anyone you choose can help you, except your employer, an agent of your employer, or (if you belong to a labor union), an agent of your labor union. The person who is helping you must give his name and address to the pollworkers and must sign the back of your ballot.

For more information, you can utilize the Wisconsin Election Commission's Voting Accessibility page.

Campaign Finance Information

Wisconsin

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets.

For information on state campaign contributions, please visit your state's resource.


DonateKeep VOTE411 Online!
The League depends on the generosity of VOTE411 users! If you found this information valuable, help us continue the work! Donate Now!

 

Election Day Problems?

Call one of these hotlines:
1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
1-844-418-1682 (Arabic)

 

Donations to the LWVEF, a 501(c)(3) organization, are tax-deductible. The LWVEF tax id number is 53-0239013.