The Wisconsin Elections Commission has directed staff to issue updated guidance regarding the use of bank statements and credit card statements as proof of residence for voter registration purposes. At its September 25, 2018 meeting, the Commission clarified the following information about proof of residence:
- The term “bank statement” in Wis. Stat. § 6.34(3)(a)9. includes any account statement from a bank or credit union, regardless of the type of account listed, including, but not limited to a checking, savings, mortgage loan or home equity line of credit.
- A credit card statement qualifies as a “bank statement” under Wis. Stat. 6.34(3)(a)9. and may be used as a valid form of proof of residence when registering to vote.
These clarifications are effective immediately. Voters are now allowed to use the types of documents listed below to prove their address when registering to vote, provided the document meets all other standards for valid proof of residence. When reviewing a bank statement for proof of residence purposes the focus should be on the issuing institution, rather than the type of account listed on the statement. The document should be an account statement that lists specific account information including an account number and balance information.
What can be used?
- A bank statement issued by a bank or credit union
- A mortgage statement issued by a bank or credit union
- A home equity credit line statement issued by a bank or credit union
- A credit card statement issued by a bank or credit union
- A retail store credit card statement (Kohl’s, Menards, etc.)
What cannot be used?
- Credit card offers
- General correspondence from a bank or credit union that is not an account statement
- General correspondence from a credit card company that is not an account statement
- Closing documents for purchase of a home
The clarified definition of ‘bank statements’ and the use of credit card statements as proof of residence for voter registration represents a change from previous guidance on this issue. The Commission staff will be updating manuals, voter guides and other information on the Commission’s website to reflect this clarification. Please contact us at [email protected] or (608) 261-2028 with any questions that you may have.