Skip to main content

Elections Division Reminds Voters of Absentee Voting Requirements for November Election

September 16, 2008

MADISON, WI – Wisconsin Elections Division officials Tuesday reminded state voters that absentee voting requires residency in the jurisdiction which issues the absentee ballot, and proper voter registration.

“In the past week, we have received a lot of calls about a mailing that has solicited Wisconsinites to vote absentee for the November 4 General Election. In many cases, the municipal clerk’s return address is misidentified in the same mailing,” said Nat Robinson, Elections Division Administrator. “Voters should read any election-related mailing carefully, and direct their questions to their city, village or town clerk.”

The mailing provided a postcard return format, which would include a voter’s birth date and signature. Voters who elect to use that postcard to request an absentee ballot but who prefer not to make their date of birth information public should place the postcard in an envelope. Voters should also know they may use the State’s absentee ballot request form found at This completed form should also be mailed in an envelope to the appropriate clerk.

“It’s very important to pay attention when you respond to election-related solicitations,” Robinson said. “If you decide to respond, check any request form to make sure it is correctly addressed to your municipal clerk.”

The Elections Division also provided the following reminders to Wisconsin voters:

• Voters must first be registered to vote before requesting an absentee ballot
• Voters are not required to provide any reason to vote on an absentee ballot in Wisconsin
• Absentee ballot requests must go to the municipal clerk in the jurisdiction where the voter lives
• Absentee ballots should be available 30 days before the election, and in-person absentee voting can be carried out in the clerk’s office when they are available
• The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail for the November 4 General Election is Thursday, October 30
• Form EB-121, the absentee ballot request form is available in English, Spanish and Hmong, and is available on the Elections Division website at

The only exception to voting absentee from a voter’s place of residence is for those voters who may reside temporarily elsewhere, but want to vote from their permanent address. For example, a college student may live in one city for school, but prefer to vote in her or his hometown.

“If you are not sure you are registered to vote, use the Voter Public Access feature of our website to check the database,” Robinson said. “You can check to see if you are registered, where your polling place is located, and who the candidates on the ballot are.”

Voter Public Access is located on the Internet at To check the lists of municipal clerks in Wisconsin, see Voter Information on the Elections Division website at