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November 04, 2016



By Vivien De Back & Anita Johnson

Understanding the voting rules and regulations in Wisconsin in 2016 can be confusing. This is due to a number of court rulings and appeals regarding the voting process and requirements for voters.

AS OF TODAY, the following information is correct and up-to-date. Should there be changes in the law or regulations  between now and November 8th, a notice will be sent to members and organizations associated with the  Alliance for Retired Americans. Please share widely.


You must have an ID to vote. The acceptable documents  include, Wisconsin DOT issued driver’s license (even if driving privileges are revoked or suspended), Wisconsin DOT issued ID card, Military ID, U.S. Passport, or Veteran’s card. More details on voter ID can be found at this site.

If you have none of these you can get a free photo ID at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) nearest you. Follow this web site.

Click on Get ID Card. Or call: 608.264.7447 for any questions       regarding the free voter ID card. Bring your birth certificate, social security card and proof of residence to obtain the Voter ID card.


If you believe you are registered to vote you can verify your registration by following this site. You can also find out where you go to vote. This information is also available by calling your local Municipal Clerk’s Office.

If you are not registered you can register in your Municipal Clerk’s Office, or with a Special Registration Deputy, or at the polls on Election Day. You need proof of Residence to register. The residency requirement has been changed to 10 days. You must be living at a school residence for 10 days before the election to be eligible to vote. University and college students may use the Voter photo-compliant student ID in conjunction with a fee payment receipt that contains the students address.


All voting rights for early  voting have been restored. You can vote early, on weekends and evenings, and as early as thirty days  before the election. Call your Clerk’s office to get the times and dates that are available for you to vote.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: The Clerks of each municipality have the option to identify the dates, times and places available for voting. They will not be uniform across the State. When you do early voting, you will use an Absentee ballot. This is the same ballot you use on Election Day, but will be put it in a sealed envelope with your signature, to be counted on election day.


There usually are several wards with voting clerks at the poll. Find the ward where you live. You can do that ahead of time by following the “my vote” web site listed earlier in this article.

Say your name and address to the poll worker and show your ID. This is the only document you have to show the poll worker unless you are registering that day. Sign the Poll Book and Vote.

Recent new decisions by the courts have opened the voting   process to help citizens get registered and vote. Talk to your relatives and friends. Many do not know they can now vote with an ID and have many options for early voting.  Exercise your right and responsibility as a citizen: VOTE!

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