Register to Vote
DO I NEED TO REGISTER TO VOTE?
If any of the following statements describe you, you need to register to vote before you can cast a ballot:
- I have never registered to vote in Wisconsin.
- My address has changed since the last time I voted.
- My legal name has changed since the last time I voted.
To check your current voter registration status in Wisconsin, visit My Vote Wisconsin.
For specific guidance on residency requirements for UW students, see I’m a College Student. For a complete list of voter eligibility requirements, visit the Voter Eligibility Guide. Among the requirements for voter eligibility in Wisconsin, all voters must be U.S. citizens who will be at least 18 years old on Election Day and who will have resided in Wisconsin for at least 28 days prior to the election.
You can begin the registration process on-line at My Vote Wisconsin, which will also help you determine which district and ward you should vote in. You can find more information about registration by viewing the Voter Registration Guide.
- Proof of Residence: Note that all Wisconsin voters must provide proof of residence to register to vote. All UW system institutions provide student voter enrollment verification forms. These forms serve as proof of residence for registration. For more information, please reference the Student Residency Guide.
- Registration Form: You can get a copy of the Voter Registration Form at the Forms – Voters page.
Photo ID Required to Vote
A photo ID is required to receive a ballot in all special and regular elections. Learn more about photo ID and voting on the Wisconsin Elections Commission website.
Visit Bring It to the Ballot for information about acceptable IDs and obtaining a state ID card.
ABSENTEE AND EARLY VOTING
You can begin the absentee voting process on-line at My Vote Wisconsin, which will also help you locate your municipal clerk and show you a sample ballot. You can find more information about absentee voting at the I want to vote absentee page.
Ballot Forms: You can get a copy of the Application for Absentee Ballot at the Forms – Voters page.
To determine where you should vote, visit My Vote Wisconsin.
There are regularly scheduled elections in every even numbered year as follows:
- The second (2nd) Tuesday in August.
- The Tuesday after the first (1st) Monday in November.
There are regularly scheduled elections every year as follows:
- The third (3rd) Tuesday in February.
- The first (1st) Tuesday in April.
You may have a local election in your area before the next state wide election. To find out when your next election is, visit My Vote Wisconsin.
If you encounter problems at the polls on Election Day, you should first talk to the Chief Inspector of your polling place. You can ask a poll worker to help you identify the Chief Inspector. If the Chief Inspector cannot resolve your issue, you should then contact your municipal clerk. Finally, if your issue requires further resolution, please contact the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
If someone challenges your eligibility to vote, that person has the responsibility to prove that you are ineligible to vote beyond a reasonable doubt. See Wis. Stat. § 6.325. To learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a voter, visit the Wisconsin Guide to Voter Rights and Responsibilities. If you encounter problems voting, view this helpful guidance for specific concerns on this FAQ page.
If one of the following two statements applies to you, you will be required to vote with a provisional ballot.
- I am a first-time voter who registered by mail and has failed to provide the required proof of residence.
- I am registering to vote on Election Day and have a Wisconsin Driver License, but I am unable or unwilling to list my Wisconsin Driver License number on my voter registration application.
If you vote provisionally, you will have to provide additional documentation to the polling place where you voted by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day or to the municipal clerk’s office by 4:00 p.m. on the Friday after the election. You can find more information on provisional voting in the following links.
Wisconsin Elections Commission
- To check your registration status, verify your polling place location, see who’s on your ballot, and more, visit the My Vote Wisconsin website.
- For more information, please visit the Wisconsin Elections Commission website
- Call 1‐866‐VOTE‐WIS
- Contact the Help Desk at 608‐261‐2028 or TTY 1‐800‐947‐3529
Municipal Clerk Office
- Register in-person at the clerk’s office. To find your municipal clerk’s address and other contact information visit My Vote Wisconsin or call 1-866-VOTE-WIS.
This information is meant to give UW students the basic information they need to vote in Wisconsin; however, it is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to all voting rules. On July 1, 2016, the new Wisconsin Elections Commission began operations. As information is available, it will be updated on this website to provide accurate information.
For more comprehensive information about voting in Wisconsin, visit the My Vote Wisconsin page, or click on the links throughout this guide to specific guidance on the Wisconsin Election Commission’s website.