Top Five Things Voters Should Know for Primary Day


MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Elections Commission today released its list of the top five things Wisconsin voters should know for the Partisan Primary, Tuesday, August 14.

1. You may only vote for candidates of one party in the primary.

Unlike most other states, Wisconsin law gives voters the freedom to choose which political party’s primary they wish to vote in without having to register to vote with a party affiliation or designation. However, they may only vote within one party’s primary on the August ballot.

“If you vote for candidates in more than one party, your votes will not be counted,” said Meagan Wolfe, interim administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission. “But if you make a mistake, like voting for candidates in more than one party, when voting on Election Day, you may ask for a new paper ballot, up to a total of three.”

Wolfe noted that the “party preference” section at the top of the ballot is an important safeguard, especially for people who are voting by absentee ballot. “Selecting a party preference is not required, but if you select a party preference, it ensures that your votes are counted for that party’s candidates if you accidentally vote for a candidate in another party.”

2. You will need an acceptable photo ID to vote.

“There are no recent changes to Wisconsin’s election laws for Tuesday’s primary,” Wolfe said. “You will need to show an acceptable photo ID to vote.”

Wolfe said most voters already have the photo ID they need to vote, such as a Wisconsin Driver License or ID, and urged anyone with questions to visit the Bring It to the Ballot website ( or call 1-866-VOTE-WIS for information. 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. Your acceptable photo ID for voting does not need to show your current address.

3. Voters can find their polling place on the mobile-friendly MyVote Wisconsin website.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission’s popular MyVote Wisconsin website,, 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 can also check whether their registration is current. 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 so they can sign it in front of a poll worker. Voters can also complete a paper registration form at their polling place on Election Day.

Online voter registration, that doesn’t require the voter to print or sign a paper form, for the November 6 General Election resumes after the August 14, Partisan Primary and runs through October 17.

4. Your vote is secure.

Wisconsin’s election systems are secure thanks to the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s 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,” said Wolfe. “We have taken extraordinary steps to ensure that our voter registration and vote counting systems are secure.”

Voters with questions about election security can read more about the WEC’s efforts here:

5. Consider becoming a poll worker.

Many Wisconsin cities, villages and towns need more civic-minded people to help out on Election Day, especially for the November general election. When you go to vote, take a look around to see if it’s something you’d like to do. Many places offer split shifts if you can’t work the entire day. Contact your local municipal clerk’s office for more information.

Other Basics:

  • Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 14.
  • Eligible voters can register at the polls on Election Day if they have a proof-of-residence document with a current address. For details, check out the Voter Registration Guide:
  • Primary turnout is typically between 15 and 20 percent of voting-age adults, compared to about 50 to 55 percent in a typical November gubernatorial election.


For more information, contact

Reid Magney, Public Information Officer, or 608-267-7887