The number one thing voters should know is that they must bring an acceptable proof of residence document if they plan to register at the polling place on Election Day, including updating their name or address.
“Election Day registration ensures that everyone who is qualified to vote will get to vote,” said Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel of the G.A.B. “However, you will need to bring a proof of residence document with you if you want to register on Election Day.”
To register on Election Day, Wisconsin voters must provide proof of residence, which includes a current utility bill, lease, university ID card or other official document showing the voter’s name and current address. A list of acceptable documents is available at http://gab.wi.gov. Before Election Day, you must have lived at your current address for at least 28 days to be eligible to vote, but the proof of residence document does not need to be 28 days old. Voters who have a current, valid Wisconsin driver license or Wisconsin state ID card will be required to use their license or ID number to complete the registration form. Otherwise, they may use the last four digits of their Social Security number.
You can also register to vote before Election Day. Registration in your municipal clerk’s office takes place until 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before the election (August 8, 2014). Remember, you will still need to bring your proof of residence document to register.
Voters who may not be sure whether their registration is current can check their status with their municipal clerk, or on the state’s MyVote Wisconsin website https://myvote.wi.gov . My Vote Wisconsin is also a great resource to find your municipal clerk’s contact information, and your polling place.
Number two on the list is that voters may only vote for candidates of one party in the partisan primary.
Some voters think that they can vote for any candidate in a primary election, but this has not been the case since 1905, when Wisconsin went to a system of partisan primaries. “Unlike the November General Election, the Partisan Primary in August is for voters to nominate who they would like to move on to the November election,” said Kennedy. “But the law says voters can only participate in one party’s primary.”
Elections Division Administrator Michael Hass reminds voters that if your municipality has electronic voting equipment, it is programed to reject ballots with crossover votes. “If you make a mistake and vote in multiple parties, ask a poll worker for a new ballot. You may do this up to three times,” Haas said.
Number three is that voters do not have to show a photo ID to receive a primary ballot on August 12.
Even though the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that the state’s Voter Photo ID Law is constitutional, there is a separate federal court order blocking it. Any Wisconsin election official who requests a photo ID from a voter in order to receive a ballot would violate that federal court order.
Wisconsin’s Attorney General has announced that he plans to seek reinstatement of Voter Photo ID in a federal appeals court, but such a reversal is extremely unlikely for the August 12 Partisan Primary, Kennedy said.
“If the federal court order blocking the Voter Photo ID Law is overturned before the November 4 General Election, the G.A.B. will notify the public and local election officials,” Kennedy said.
For more information about the current state of the Voter Photo ID Law, visit the G.A.B. website: http://gab.wi.gov/elections-voting/photo-id.
The remainder of the Top 10 things voters should know are:
You can also request a ballot by mail. All requests must be received by your municipal clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday before the election (August 7, 2014). To find your municipal clerk’s contact information and an absentee ballot request form please visit https://myvote.wi.gov .
Complaints or issues that are not resolved to the voter’s satisfaction should be reported to the G.A.B. Voters can go online and report problems at http://gab.wi.gov/complaints or they can call 1-866-VOTE-WIS.