Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Can I vote early or get an absentee ballot?

You can vote before Election Day using an absentee ballot by mail or in person.

Wisconsin voters, including students studying abroad, can request an absentee ballot online or by mail/fax/email. Your request must be received by 5 p.m. on the Thursday before Election Day and your mailed ballot must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

You may only cast one absentee ballot. If you choose to vote absentee, you cannot legally vote at your polling place.

See Wisconsin Absentee Voting for more information.

When are elections and how can I find out who’s on the ballot?

You can find out which candidates will be on your ballot and when elections will be held by visiting MyVote Wisconsin.

For more information, see See What’s On My Ballot.

Who can vote?

You are eligible to vote in Wisconsin if you meet all the following criteria:

  • You are a U.S. citizen
  • You will be 18 years of age on or before Election Day
  • You have resided in Wisconsin for at least 28 consecutive days before Election Day
  • You are not currently serving a felony sentence, including probation/parole

Location Questions

Can I vote in both my hometown’s election and Milwaukee’s election?

No. You may only vote once per election. Any attempt to vote more than once in any given election is classified as election fraud per Wis. Stat. sec. 12.13 (1) and is punishable as a Class I felony.

I’ll be out of the state/country on Election Day. Can I still vote?

Yes, you may vote absentee. For more information on voting absentee, see Wisconsin Absentee Voting. For more information on overseas absentee voting, see Find My Polling Place.

I’m a UWM student. Can’t I just vote at Sandburg Residence Hall?

Not necessarily. Sandburg Residence Hall is the polling place for residents of Milwaukee Ward 130. If you live outside of Milwaukee Ward 130, you need to vote at your ward’s polling place on Election Day.

My permanent residence is in another part of Wisconsin. Can I still vote in my local election?

You may only vote once, so you will need to decide if you want to vote in Milwaukee or in your hometown. If you choose to vote at home instead of in Milwaukee and are already a Wisconsin voter registered in your hometown, you may request an absentee ballot for your ward.

My permanent residence is not in Wisconsin. Can I still vote in my state election?

If you are from out of state, you will need to decide if you want to vote in Milwaukee or in your home state’s elections. If you choose to vote in your home state instead of Wisconsin, visit the federal government’s voting webpage for more information about voting in your home state. Some states may require you to register up to a month before Election Day. While all states have absentee voting, some restrict who is allowed to use an absentee ballot. Visit the federal government’s webpage on absentee voting to find out more about your state’s voting rules.

Where do I go to vote?

If you are a Wisconsin voter, you can find your polling place by visiting MyVote Wisconsin.

For information on studying abroad and out-of-state voters, see Find My Polling Place.

Registration Questions

Can I register on Election Day?

Yes, you can register at your polling place. However, you may encounter major hassles and long wait times if you try to register on Election Day, so we recommend registering before.

You will need to bring an acceptable photo ID and Proof of Residence document.

Can I register to vote online?

You may register online at MyVote Wisconsin – Register to Vote if:

  • You have a current, valid Wisconsin Driver License or Wisconsin ID Card.
  • Your current name and zip code are in the Wisconsin DMV database. You can update your address online in the DMV database.

You may register online in Wisconsin up to 20 days before Election Day.

How do I know if I need to register?

If you are voting at the same address as the last time you voted (including apartment number), you are probably already registered. You can check if you are registered at MyVote Wisconsin – Register to Vote. You will need to register if:

  • You are a first-time voter
  • You have moved to a new address (or even changed apartment numbers)
  • You have changed your legal name since the last time you voted
If the address on my driver’s license is not my current address, can I still register to vote from my current address?

You will need to use a Proof of Residence document other than your driver’s license to prove that you live at your current address.

What do I need to register?

You will need documentation to prove that you live at your current residence. This can include:

  • A current, valid Wisconsin driver’s license or Wisconsin identification card.
  • Any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit.
  • Your UWM ID card with a Proof of Enrollment letter which can be printed from the “Academics” section of your PAWS account
  • An identification card issued by an employer in the normal course of business, which has a photograph of the cardholder, but not a business card.
  • A real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year or the year preceding the date of the election.
  • A current residential lease.
  • A utility bill for the period commencing not earlier than 90 days before the election. A printed copy of an online bill is acceptable.
  • A bank statement. A printed copy of an online statement is acceptable.
  • A paycheck.
  • A check or other document issued by a unit of government, including the University of Wisconsin.
  • A printed copy of your current bursar’s statement.
  • In lieu of a paper copy, individuals may present an electronic display of a qualifying document on a mobile device or computer to prove their address for residency verification.

For a full list of acceptable Proof of Residence documents, visit MyVote Wisconsin – Proof of Residence.

Where can I register to vote in person?

Milwaukee residents can register at the office of the Election Commission, City Hall Room 501, 200 E Wells Street. Office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. If you live outside the City of Milwaukee, you can contact your municipal clerk for more information about voter registration. You can find your municipal clerk online.

Voter ID Questions

Are there any forms of photo ID I can’t use?

Yes. The following are examples of unacceptable forms of voter ID in Wisconsin:

  • A state or federal government employee ID
  • An out-of-state driver license or identification card
  • An employment ID
  • A membership or organization ID
  • A certificate of citizenship

For a complete list of acceptable and unacceptable forms of voter ID in Wisconsin, visit Bring It To the Ballot.

Does the address on my ID need to match my current address?

No, the address on your ID does not matter. The purpose of presenting your ID at the polls is to prove your identity. Poll workers only check the ID photo, name and expiration date.

What if I don’t have an acceptable form of photo ID?

Students at the Milwaukee campus can get a free voter ID card at Panther Card Office, Student Union Room W198.

Students at the Washington County campus can get a free voter ID card at the Student Affairs/Solution Center office.

Students at the Waukesha campus can get a free voter ID card at the campus library.

At your polling place, you must also present a Proof of Enrollment letter, which can be printed from the “Academics” section of your PAWS account.

Generating a PDF of your Proof of Enrollment letter

If you are generating a PDF of your Proof of Enrollment letter on your iPhone and are receiving an error, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Visit the affected site in Safari.
  2. Click the Font button (Aa) on the left-hand side of the URL bar.
  3. Choose Request Desktop Website.
  4. The website will then reload as its desktop version.

If you are generating a PDF of your Proof of Enrollment letter on your Android device and are receiving an error, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Visit the affected site in Chrome
  2. Open the menu
  3. Check the box located next to “Request desktop site”
  4. The website will then reload as its desktop version.
What is Wisconsin’s Voter ID requirement?

Registered voters must present an acceptable form of photo identification at their polling place. Acceptable forms of ID include a valid Wisconsin driver’s license, Wisconsin state ID, U.S. passport, U.S. Uniformed Services card, Veterans Affairs ID, tribal ID or Certificate of Naturalization.

For more information, see Wisconsin Voter ID.