MADISON, WI – Wisconsin residents who need to register to vote for the April 7 Spring Election can now use MyVote.WI.gov to register online until March 30, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
Voters must be registered before they can request an absentee ballot, so reopening online registration was ordered by a federal court in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We strongly urge anyone who wishes to vote in the April 7 election to take action now online,” said Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief elections official. “Anyone who isn’t currently registered and wants to vote absentee for April 7 must act immediately.”
The absolute deadline for most voters to request an absentee ballot is Thursday, April 2, but Wolfe said voters should not wait until then due to the high volume of requests and potential mail delivery issues. The USPS is recommending giving yourself at least a week to return your ballot by mail.
“We want everyone who is eligible and who wants to vote to be able to do so safely,” Wolfe said. If your name or address has changed since you registered, you need to register with your current information. You can check your registration status at myvote.wi.gov, click on “My Voter Info.”
The reopening of online voter registration follows a federal court order on Friday and several days of intense work by the WEC to change and test the MyVote Wisconsin website’s code, Wolfe said. Online registration was restored early Wednesday morning, followed by several hours of monitoring before this announcement. Because of the expedited timeframe for implementing and testing this change, there is the potential for slowness or outages if there is heavy traffic to the system.
The MyVote Wisconsin website and the Elections Commission website now display this court-ordered notice:
SPECIAL NOTICE WITH RESPECT TO ONLINE REGISTRATION AND ABSENTEE BALLOTS FOR APRIL 7, 2020, ELECTION ONLY DUE TO CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
By order of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, online registration to vote was extended until March 30, 2020, for the April 7, 2020 Spring Election and Presidential Primary ONLY. This order is notwithstanding ANY contrary Wisconsin Statute, notice on this website, other State websites or other writing or postings.
The primary purpose of this extension is to facilitate voting by absentee ballots for those who may no longer wish to or who are unable to vote in person during the absentee voting period on or before Friday, April 3, 2020, or at their polling place on Election Day, April 7, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If you are not currently registered to vote in the State of Wisconsin, you may register through the MyVote Wisconsin website. Registering online requires that you already have a valid, unexpired Wisconsin driver’s license or Wisconsin state ID card. The address, name, date of birth, and driver license number you are using to register to vote must match the information that DMV has on file for you. If you need to update your address with DMV, you can do so online.
To obtain an absentee ballot, you will not only have to complete the online registration process if you are not already registered, but you will also need to request that an absentee ballot be mailed to you. This may be done either through the MyVote Wisconsin website or through a separate written request submitted to your municipal clerk.
When requesting an absentee ballot through MyVote, if you have not previously submitted a copy of your photo ID, you will need to submit a copy of your photo ID electronically through the MyVote site. Photo ID must also be submitted by a first-time absentee voter if the request is made by other written means. The photo ID may be a Wisconsin driver license or State ID card, a U.S. passport or certificate of naturalization, a military ID or veterans identification card, or a student ID card issued by a Wisconsin accredited university or college which is accompanied by proof of enrollment.