Wisconsin voter registration guide: How to register to vote, options to vote and more

Germantown's American Legion Post No. 1 is transformed into a polling place for Wards 5 through 8 on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.
Germantown's American Legion Post No. 1 is transformed into a polling place for Wards 5 through 8 on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

Wisconsinites are gearing up for a number of elections in 2024, including races for non-partisan local offices in the spring and the presidential primary, and elections for partisan offices in the fall.

That means elected officials like local mayors, village board presidents and others will be up for reelection this spring, while partisan offices for the State Assembly, State Senate, U.S. Congress, and U.S. Senate will be up for re-election in the fall.

Registering to vote and voting for the first time might seem overwhelming, so we'll explain the process. Here's what you need to know.

When is election day?

The Wisconsin spring primary for non-partisan offices will be held Feb. 20, 2024 and the general election will be on April 2, 2024. The April election will also include the presidential primary.

The fall primary for partisan offices is Aug. 13, 2024 with a general election on Nov. 5, 2024.

Election Day voting hours for all four elections are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

How to register to vote in Wisconsin

You'll need to register to vote if you've moved since the last time you registered to vote in Wisconsin or if you haven't voted in the past four years.

If you're not sure what your registration status is, you can check on myvote.wi.gov.

In Milwaukee, you can register by mail, online, at any Milwaukee Public Library or at your voting site on Election Day. Don't forget to bring your proof of residence documentation when you're registering to vote.

Acceptable proof of residence documents:

All voters need to provide a document establishing their proof or residence as part of the voter registration application. This requirement applies to all who aren't military or permanent absentee voters.

Your proof of residence must include:

  • Your current and complete name

  • Your current and complete residential address

  • A visible account or document number (if applicable)

And must be from the following forms:

  • A current and valid Wisconsin driver's license

  • A current and valid Wisconsin identification card

  • Any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit

  • Any identification 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 gas, electric of telephone service statement (utility bill) for the period commencing not earlier than 90 days before Election Day

  • A bank, credit card, or other account statement issued by any financial institution

  • Paycheck

  • A check or other document or official correspondence issued by a unit of government, including official mail from a public high school or state college or university

  • A university, college, or technical college identification card, which must include a photo, and only if you provide a fee receipt dated within the last nine months of the institution provides a certified housing list to the municipal clerk

  • A residential lease which is effective for a period that includes the registration date.

Vote early in-person

You can vote absentee at your local municipal clerk's office. To vote in-person absentee, you'll need to show your acceptable photo ID.

Each city, village and town in Wisconsin will set up dates and hours of in-person absentee voting for their municipality. In-person absentee voting can't happen more than two weeks before an election.

To find the dates and hours for in-person absentee voting where you live, you can contact your municipal clerk.

Request a mail-in/absentee ballot

If you'd like to request an absentee ballot, you'll first need to register to vote. If you aren't registered or if your name or address has changed, you'll need to register or update or registration before requesting an absentee ballot.

You can request an absentee ballot at myvote.wi.gov.

You must request an absentee ballot no later than 5 p.m. on the fifth day preceding the election. The last possible day for a clerk to have in-person absentee voting is Sunday before the election. Each municipal clerk's office sets its own schedule for in-person absentee voting.

Vote on Election Day

You can find your assigned polling place by entering your address at myvote.wi.gov.

You can register to vote at your voting site on Election Day. If you're planning on registering to vote on Election Day, you must have lived at your current address for at least 28 days before the election and provide an acceptable proof of residence document.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin voter registration guide: how to register and absentee votes