WISCONSIN (WFRV) – Spring elections are right around the corner and the Wisconsin Elections Commission released its list of the top things Wisconsin voters should know before they vote on Tuesday, April 5.
While the idea is the same, there have been some changes to the 2022 Spring Elections, such as polling places, acceptable photo IDs, absentee ballots, and more.
These tips do not have to be done in any specific order.
1. Your polling place may have changed from the location you voted at previously
The Wisconsin Elections Commission’s MyVote Wisconsin website allows you to verify your polling place and provides directions to every polling place in the state as well as information about what will be on voters’ ballots when they get there.
Voters also have the opportunity to check whether their registration is up to date. If it’s not, they can start the voter registration process online, print their filled-out voter registration form and bring it to the polls with them on Election Day.
2. You need an acceptable photo ID to vote, but your ID for voting does not need to show your current address or have a star on it
Officials say your acceptable photo ID for voting does not need to show your current address. Most voters already have the photo ID they need to vote such as a Wisconsin drivers license or ID.
A voter who does not have an acceptable photo ID must be offered a provisional ballot and the opportunity to submit a photo ID within three days after the election.
Wisconsin voters with a driver license or state ID card do not need to worry about whether their ID has a “REAL ID” star in the corner. A photo ID with the star will be needed for other things such as boarding a plane, but it is not required for voting purposes.
Voters can also complete a paper registration form at their polling place on Election Day.
If you are registering to vote, remember you will need to show a proof of residence document with your current name and address on it. Officials say proof of residence can be a government document like a Wisconsin ID card, or a document like a bank statement or utility bill.
3. Check with your municipal clerk regarding rules for returning absentee ballots
A Waukesha County Circuit Court judge issued an Order that states an elector must mail or deliver his or her own absentee ballot, except where the law explicitly authorizes an agent to act on an elector’s behalf.
The only way to cast an absentee ballot is to place it in an envelope and then mail or deliver the ballot in person to the municipal clerk.
The use of drop boxes is not allowed under Wisconsin law unless the drop box is staffed by the clerk and located at the office of the clerk or at a properly designated alternate site.
4. Voters who received their absentee ballot by mail should return it to their clerk’s office as soon as possible
The U.S. Postal Service advises that it can take up to one week for mail to be delivered. Voters who still need to return absentee ballots should drop them off at their municipal clerk’s office as soon as possible.
On Election Day, most voters may deliver their absentee ballots directly to their normal polling place, but must arrive before polls close at 8 p.m.
Voters in cities, villages, or towns that count absentee ballots at a central location must return ballots to their clerk’s office or central count location.
Any voter who has not returned their absentee ballot is still eligible to vote in person on Election Day.
5. The last day for municipal clerks to offer in-person absentee voting is Sunday, April 3
Municipalities may end in-person absentee voting before Sunday, April 3. It is recommended that you check with your municipal clerk. To learn where you can vote absentee in person in your municipality, click here.
6. Know your vote is secure
Officials say Wisconsin’s election systems are secure thanks to the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s (WEC) strong partnerships with federal and state agencies and local election officials.
The WEC has found no evidence that Wisconsin’s election systems have ever been compromised. The WEC also says they have taken extraordinary steps to ensure that voter registration and vote counting systems are secure and have many redundancies to protect and backup all voter data.
For more information about the security of your ballot, you can click here.
7. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5
Turnout for a Spring Election in April is typically about 20% to 25% of voting-age adults. This does not include the years with Presidential Preference Primaries when the turnout typically spikes higher.
For any and all questions regarding the 2022 Spring Elections, you can head over to MyVote Wisconsin.