Compiled by Northwoods News staff
Voters are facing changes this election season and important deadlines are rapidly approaching.
The November 8th general election will decide races for all Wisconsin State Assembly seats, many Wisconsin State Senate seats, the Governor, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Local elections for county and municipal seats and school district referendums may also be on your ballot.
To see what will be on your ballot, visit the MyVote WI Sample Ballot page. For information on candidates and ballot items, check local media and the League of Women Voters, which has an informational, unbiased website for voter information – Vote411.
MyVoteWisconsin provides resources including:
- Check and update your voting status
- Find your municipal election clerk’s office
- Check deadlines
- Find your polling place
- Preview your ballot
Changes This Year:
Please note that district boundaries have changed in some areas and recent Wisconsin Supreme Court rulings have impacted voting procedures. Deadlines and procedures differ for members of the military and for persons living overseas, as well as for people who are indefinitely confined (as in the hospital) than for the general public.
Absentee ballot rules have changed significantly. Recent court cases have determined that election clerks can no longer complete missing address information, and there has been some dispute over what constitutes an address. All forms and ballots must be returned to your municipal election clerk’s office and unattended drop boxes are no longer permitted.
Accessibility guidelines have changed as well. Recent court decisions have clarified that disabled and elderly voters can have assistance with completing, mailing or delivering their ballots in compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Act. There is no qualifying process to be officially declared disabled, or to register as a helper, although there are federal limits on who can be a helper. The Wisconsin Elections Commission issued guidance in September to comply with these rulings.
State-recognized forms of ID are required to vote or to request an absentee ballot, but are not required to register to vote. Generally, a valid Wisconsin driver license or state ID card will suffice. Other forms of photo identification, such as a military ID card or a U.S. passport, can also be used.
- By Mail – Registration by mail must be postmarked by Wednesday, October 19, 2022.
- Online – Registration must also be completed by 11:59 pm on October 19, 2022, with limitations.
- Email or In Person – Email a completed form or register at your municipal election office no later than 5:00 pm on November 4, 2022.
- On Election Day – Register by 5:00 pm at your polling place on November 8, 2022.
Wisconsin voters are required to submit a new voter registration when they move to the state, when they change their address and when they change their name. Voters must include proof of residence, such as a pay stub or utility bill. Your voting address should be the address of your place of residence or legal domicile, not your mailing address, such as a Post Office box or place of business.
Download the Absentee Ballot Request form at the WEC website or obtain it from your election clerk.
- By Mail – Requests by mail must be postmarked by Tuesday, October 25, 2022.
- Online – Requests must be completed online by 11:59 pm on October 25, 2022.
- Email or In Person – Email or drop off a completed request form or fill one out at your municipal election office no later than 5:00 pm on November 3, 2022.
All registered voters may request an absentee ballot to vote in the November general election, but you will need a witness signature to submit your ballot. A state-recognized photo ID is required.
Important: All completed ballots must be delivered to your absentee ballot counting location no later than 8:00 pm on Election Day, November 8, 2022.
The United States Postal Service recommends mailing your ballot at least one week before Election Day. Absentee ballots may not be returned by email or fax. Every required field must be completed for your vote to be counted.
To be on the safe side, read the absentee ballot directions very carefully, and fill out every box. Both the voter and witness must have a full address including street number, street name, the name of the municipality, and the form must be signed and dated. Witnesses must be U.S. Citizens, 18 years of age or older, and must actually see the voter complete the form.
Should you request an absentee ballot and then decide to vote in person, destroy the absentee ballot and inform the polling place worker when you check in.
Early In-Person Voting:
Dates and hours vary, but early in-person voting generally starts October 25, 2022, and ends November 4, 2022.
There is no formal early in-person voting, but you may be able to cast an absentee ballot in person before Election Day at your municipal election clerk’s office. Court decisions this year have eliminated unmanned drop boxes, so hours might be limited. Check with your municipal election office and double-check designated early voting hours and other requirements.
In-Person Voting on Election Day:
Date: The general election is on Tuesday, November 8th. Polls will be open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Make Your Vote Count!
Bring a state-recognized photo ID and allow extra time. As of this month, there are more Wisconsin residents registered to vote in this election than any other except for the 2020 presidential election.