Elections Commission: Important reminders for voters about the April 3 spring election

CONTACT: Reid Magney, 608-267-7887

MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Elections Commission reminds voters to bring an acceptable photo ID when they go to the polls for the Spring Election on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.

“Most people already have the ID they need to vote,” said Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief election official.  “If you don’t have a photo ID, you still have time to get a free one at the DMV, but you should not wait.”

Acceptable photo IDs for voting include a Wisconsin driver license or Wisconsin state ID card, Veterans Health Administration ID card, military ID card, U.S. passport, tribal ID card and some student ID cards.  A full list is available at www.BringIt.Wisconsin.gov.

Wolfe reminds voters that the address on their photo ID does not have to match the address on the poll book.  “When you show your ID, you are proving your identity, not where you live,” she said.  “Voters only have to prove where they live when they register to vote.”

What’s on the ballot?

The Commission reminds voters that they can find out what’s on their ballots by visiting the My Vote Wisconsin website: https://MyVote.WI.gov.

All voters will have the opportunity to elect a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice and vote on a constitutional referendum on whether to eliminate the office of State Treasurer on Tuesday.  Voters in Wisconsin Court of Appeals Districts 1 and 4 will have uncontested races for judge. There are also elections for 53 circuit court judges across the state, 11 of which are contested races.  Finally, many voters will find elections for local school boards, county and municipal offices, as well as referendums, across Wisconsin.

New this Spring: Supplemental Poll Books

Wolfe advises that in addition to regular poll books containing the names of all registered voters, polling places will also have supplemental poll books for the Spring Election.

“If you are a registered voter but your name is not on the regular poll list, poll workers will look for you on the supplemental poll list,” said Wolfe.  “If your name is there, you will receive a ballot if you sign the supplemental poll list affirming that your address has not changed.”

More information about supplemental poll books is available on the Commission’s website:http://elections.wi.gov/node/5746.

Register or reregister at the polls.

Wolfe reminds voters that if they plan to register for the first time or update their registration with a change of name or address at the polls on Election Day, they must bring a proof of residence document like a utility bill, showing the voter’s current name and address.

“Election Day registration ensures that everyone who is qualified to vote will get to vote,” said Wolfe, interim administrator of the WEC.  “However, you must bring a current proof of residence document to register on Election Day.”

Acceptable proof of residence documents also include a lease, bank statement, cell phone bill or other official government documents, and can be on paper or an electronic device like a smartphone or tablet.  A list of acceptable documents is available at http://elections.wi.gov/publications/voter-guides/proof-of-residence.  Before Election Day, you must have lived at your current address for at least 10 days to be eligible to vote, but the proof of residence document does not need to be 10 days old.

You can also register to vote before Election Day.  Registration in your municipal clerk’s office takes place until 5 p.m. on the Friday before the election (March 30, 2018).  Remember, you will still need to bring your proof of residence document to register.

Voters who may not be sure whether their registration is current can check their status with their municipal clerk, or on the state’s MyVote Wisconsin website https://myvote.wi.gov.  My Vote Wisconsin is also a great resource to find your municipal clerk’s contact information, and your polling place.

Other important reminders:

Absentee ballots must be received by Election Day.  If you had an absentee ballot mailed to you, it must be received in your municipal clerk’s office by Election Day (April 3, 2018).

Don’t leave the polling place without voting.  A voter may cast a provisional ballot if the voter does not have a photo ID, forgets to bring a photo ID to the polls, or if the poll workers do not accept the ID for some reason.  A provisional ballot is just like a regular ballot, except that it is placed in a special envelope and is not counted unless the voter returns with an acceptable photo ID.  The deadlines for fixing a provisional ballot are 8 p.m. on Election Day at the polling place or by 4 p.m. the Friday after the election in the municipal clerk’s office.  Voters who left their photo ID at home can also simply retrieve it and then cast a ballot rather than casting a provisional ballot.

Leave political items at home.  Voters should not wear political clothing or paraphernalia to the polling place on Election Day.  The chief election inspector may ask voters to leave the polling place if they are judged to be electioneering or creating a disturbance.

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