Introduction

All Wisconsin voters have a right to cast a ballot privately and independently at their polling place on Election Day.  The Wisconsin Elections Commission is committed to ensuring that all polling places in Wisconsin are accessible to all voters.  The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires that every polling place in the State of Wisconsin meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility standards.  

The WEC conducts audits of polling places around the state for each election and uses the results of those audits to work with municipalities to address identified problems and improve accessibility.  WEC. analyzes and uses information gathered during polling place audits to improve and update clerk and poll worker training materials and voter outreach information.  This data is also used to inform the Wisconsin State Legislature about the barriers that citizens with disabilities face when voting.

Voter Photo ID

The Voter Photo ID law is in effect as of April 8, 2015.  All voters who wish to cast a ballot at their polling place on Election Day or in their municipal clerk's office during the in-person absentee period will have to provide an acceptable photo ID before they receive a ballot.

Voters who wish to vote an absentee ballot by mail will need to provide a copy of their photo ID to their municipal clerk before a ballot will be mailed to them.  There are provisions in the law for voters who may be indefinitely confined due to "age, illness, infirmity or disability" and for voters who reside in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities or other care facilities. 

Please refer to the attached information sheet for more information about the photo ID requirement, including a list of acceptable photo IDs, how to get a free Wisconsin State ID card for voting purposes and more information about the absentee ballot process under the law.

Bring it to the Ballot logo.  This is the public information campaign for the voter photo ID law.  Clicking on this photo will take you to the informational website.

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Getting Assistance with Registering and Voting

If you need help marking your ballot on Election Day, you may take anyone you choose with you into the voting booth, except your employer or your labor union representative.  After you have marked your ballot, the person helping you must then sign the ballot in the space provided.  Also, the election workers will write the name of your assistor on the voting list.  Your assistor does not need to be qualified to vote.

You can also request help with the accessible voting equipment.  Anyone who helps you with a direct-recording electronic accessible voting machine (Edge, iVotronic, Populex or Accuvote) should position themselves behind the machine so that they cannot see how you vote.  They are allowed to explain how the equipment works but cannot assist you with making your ballot choices.

You can also have an assistant when completing a voter registration application or absentee application.  After completing the application, the assistor must then sign the form in the appropriate box and provide any additional required information.  Explaining how to complete the form is not “assistance".

Since 2011, voters in Wisconsin are required to sign the poll list before receiving a ballot.  You are exempt from this requirement if you cannot sign the poll list because of physical disability.  The election inspectors will write “exempt by order of inspectors” in the signature line and issue you a ballot.

To find the location of your polling place, view a sample ballot, check the status of your voter registration or find contact information for your municipal clerk go to myvote.wi.gov.

Absentee Voting

How to Apply for an Absentee Ballot

If you are not already registered, you will need to register to vote before an absentee ballot can be sent to you.  

Request by Mail

Download the Application For Absentee Ballot (EL-121).  Complete the form and mail it to your municipal clerk's office (for the correct address please refer to the Listing of Local Municipal Clerks).  The application must be received by the clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday before the election in order for an absentee ballot to be mailed to you.  

Request by E-Mail, Online or by Fax

A voter may request that a ballot be sent to them by sending an e-mail or fax to their municipal clerk. Registered voters can also request an absentee ballot at www.myvote.wi.gov by clicking "Vote Absentee."(See Directory of Local Municipal Clerks.)  This request must be made no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday before the election in order for an absentee ballot to be mailed to you. 

In-Person at your Municipal Clerk's Office

In-person absentee voting hours and date vary by municipality. Municipalities may choose to start in-person absentee voting as soon as ballots become available, in-person absentee voting then ends at 5 p.m. or the close of business (whichever is later) on the Sunday before the election.  Please check with your municipal clerk for regular office hours.

If you apply for an absentee ballot in your municipal clerk's office, you must vote immediately, seal your ballot in the proper envelope, and return it to a member of the clerk's staff.  No ballots may be taken from the clerk's office. 

Instructions for Completing Absentee Ballot

Click here for uniform instructions for absentee voters.

Deadline for Returning Ballot

The completed ballot must be mailed to your municipal clerk's office and received no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Who is my Municipal Clerk?

The municipal clerk is the clerk for the City, Village or Town in Wisconsin where you reside.  If you do not know who your municipal clerk is, or where the clerk's office is located, please use the MyVote Wisconsin website: myvote.wi.gov to locate your clerk's contact information.  You can also find your clerk by searching a list of all Wisconsin Municipal Clerk Contact Information.

 

Please note:  2011 Act 227 prohibits a voter who has voted and returned an absentee ballot from voting at the polling place on election day.

* There are exceptions for military and overseas voters.  Please refer to the Military and Overseas Voting page for rules.

 

 

Accessible Voting Equipment

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 mandates that accessible voting equipment be available at every polling place so that all individuals have the opportunity to vote independently.  The following accessible voting systems are currently aproved for use in Wisconsin:

Click here to find out which accessible voting system is used at your polling place, or contact your municipal clerk and ask about accessible voting systems.

Curbside Voting

If a voter cannot enter the absentee voting location or polling place due to disability, Wis. Stat. § 6.82(1) requires that curbside voting must be available.  Two poll workers should bring a ballot to the individual needing assistance, and conduct voting at their vehicle, or at the polling place entrance.  These voters are not required to sign the poll list.  Instead, the poll workers should write “exempt by order of inspectors” in the signature space on the poll list.  This incident should also be recorded on the Inspector’s Statement (GAB-104).  

If curbside voters need to update their registration due to an address or name change or if they are not currently a registered voter, they may also register to vote curbside with a current and valid Proof of Residence. Curbside voting should also be available during the in-person absentee voting period. Persons who would like to vote curbside should be encouraged to contact their municipal clerk beforehand to discuss how to initiate the process upon arrival at the voting location.