Voter Registration in Wisconsin
It is important to register to vote in Wisconsin prior to the deadline of the upcoming election you would like to vote in. By learning how to complete voter registration and how to make appropriate changes after a change of name, address or party affiliation, you will be better prepared to do so and reduce any potential hassle. Registration cannot be completed with the Wisconsin DMV and instead you must register with a municipal clerk’s office online, by mail or in person.
A voter registration card will be mailed to you once your application has been approved and processed. This card will contain some information about you as well as where you may vote in the upcoming election, but you do not need this card to vote. If you lose this card, it is important to learn how to replace it or how to inform the department of elections if you never received the card.
Who can register to vote in Wisconsin?
Before learning how to register to vote in Wisconsin, it is recommended that you learn more about the eligibility requirements you must meet in order to cast a vote in an upcoming election. Voting is reserved for United States citizens. If you are not a citizen, you will be ineligible to vote.
To vote in Wisconsin you must also be a resident of the state and provide a valid proof of address. If you are experiencing homelessness, you may still vote so long as you meet all other requirements and you list a family member or homeless shelter address as your place of residency.
To register to vote in Wisconsin, you must also be 18 years of age or expected to turn 18 prior to Election Day. You cannot currently vote if you are incarcerated, on parole or on probation for a felony conviction.
Wisconsin Voter Registration Deadline
It is important that you update your voter registration, if needed, or register for the first time prior to the deadline that has been set by the state if you wish to participate in an upcoming election. If you do not complete registration on time, you will be required to register in person on Election Day at your local polling place.
This deadline can change each year as it is determined by when the election date is set. Generally, Wisconsin sets the registration deadline one to two weeks prior to Election Day.
How to Register to Vote in Wisconsin
If you are wondering if you have already registered to vote, then it is important to register again. Registering again is a good way to ensure that you are registered to vote and a way for you to update any information that may have changed since your last registration.
In Wisconsin, you can register to vote online, in person or by mail. An online application is generally considered the most convenient way to complete registration. Should you choose to take advantage of the online service, you must be able to provide your drivers license number, state identification number or Social Security Number (SSN) to proceed.
Alternatively, voter registration can be completed in Wisconsin by mail. To register by mail, you must complete an application and mail it to your local municipal clerk office. The application must be postmarked no later than 20 days before the election in order to be processed and accepted. If you would rather register in person, you may do so by visiting your local municipal clerk’s office or by completing your registration on Election Day at your polling place prior to casting your vote.
All Wisconsin voter registration applications must include a valid proof of address. If the address that is displayed on your state driver’s license or state identification number is correct, you may use that license or ID as your proof of address. If it is incorrect or a license or ID card is not available, additional documentation will be required.
Early Voting in Wisconsin
Once you have completed voter registration in Wisconsin, it is worth knowing that you are permitted to vote early and request an absentee vote without having to provide a reason. Early voting is a period of time before the general election that you may cast your vote if you do not intend to appear on Election Day.
In person, early voting takes place the third Monday preceding Election Day and ends on the Friday preceding the election. If you do not wish to cast your vote on Election Day, it is important that you either take advantage of early voting or that you cast an absentee ballot.
Wisconsin Voter Registration for Active Duty Military and Out-of-State Residents
So long as you register to vote in Wisconsin, you may cast an absentee vote if you are currently out of the state or country due to active military orders, business or personal reasons. Unlike other states, the state of Wisconsin permits absentee voting to all registered voters. To learn more about absentee voting, review the section below.
Wisconsin Voter Registration for Absentee Voting
After learning how to register to vote in Wisconsin, it is worth learning about absentee voting opportunities. While most states require voters to meet eligibility requirements to vote by mail, also referred to as an absentee vote, Wisconsin permits all eligible and registered voters to do so if they so choose.
After completing voter registration, you can submit an absentee vote by completing and mailing the appropriate application to your municipal clerk’s office. Once you do so, an absentee ballot will be mailed to you. Voters that are physically disabled and unable to ever make it to the polls due to that disability may also request that an absentee ballot be automatically sent each year.
It is worth knowing that your application must be received by the municipal clerk no later than 5 p.m. on the Thursday prior to the Election Day in order for your vote to be counted. If you have not previously provided a copy of your photo ID, you must include a copy of your identification with your mailed-in application.
Voter Registration Cards in Wisconsin
After completing a voter registration change of address or registering within Wisconsin for the first time, you will be mailed a registration card. This registration card will provide some information about you, such as your name, but is primarily used to confirm your registration and provide you with a list of polling places that you may vote at.
If you are wondering, “Where do I vote?” it is important to know that the voting poll locations that are available to you is based upon your Wisconsin address. This is why a new card is mailed to you after each address change as it will contain updated information. It is worth knowing that the voter card is not required when casting your vote come Election Day.
How to Change Your Voter Registration in Wisconsin
You can update your voter registration in Wisconsin online, by mail or in person at any municipal clerk office. Common changes include address, name and party affiliation. It is very important that your name and address remain valid as you will be required to provide a photo ID when voting. If your name is different on your ID and registration, you will be unable to vote.
If you need to change a voter registration address, it is important that you submit proof of address to support this change. As stated previously, your drivers license or state identification card will satisfy this requirement, unless the address on your license or ID is incorrect.
If mailing your registration change request or requesting a change in person, it is important to carry the appropriate proof of address documents required to complete your request. If your request is regarding a name change, you must first make this change on your drivers license or state identification card.
How to Replace a Lost Wisconsin Voter Registration Card
If you are experiencing a lost Wisconsin voter registration card, it is important to know that you can request a new card from your local municipal clerk. Once you register or make a change to your registration, you should receive a card within 30 days.
If you do not, it is recommended that you contact the clerk office in order to request a new one. However, as stated previously, you do not need this card to cast your vote in Wisconsin.