The Big One: What To Do on Election Day
Still confused about voting on Nov. 6?
Although the state Legislature passed some new
regulations, voting in Wisconsin is pretty simple.
You do not need a photo ID to vote.
Let me repeat that: You do not need a photo ID to
That said, you do need to know a few things before
you head to the polls.
- Check your registration status: Go the My Vote
Wisconsin site and check out your voting status and polling place. Click on “regular
voter,” then type in your information on the next page. The next page will list
your address, registration information, and other stuff. If this page says
“active” on the status line, and it lists your current address—otherwise known
as the address at which you lived on Oct. 10, 2012—you’re good to go. If the
information is incorrect or out of date, you’ll need to register at the poll on
Tuesday. If you moved after Oct. 10, you need to vote at your pre-Oct. 10 residence in order to fulfill the state's new 28-day residency rule.
- Find your polling place: Once you’re in your
personal page in the My Vote Wisconsin website, click on Election and Polling
Place Info on the left side of the screen to find your polling place. (It may
have changed since the last time you voted.)
- Check out your sample ballot: Once you’re in your
personal page in the My Vote Wisconsin website, click on Sample Ballot on the
left side of the screen to review the candidates on the ballot. Since the legislative districts were revised this year, you may have new elected
officials representing you.
- Register: You need to register to vote if you
are not registered at your current address (your Oct. 10 address) or if your
name has changed since you last voted. You do not need a photo ID to register to vote, but
you will need at least one (and perhaps more) documents to prove your identity
and residence. Here’s a list of documents you can use to prove your residence. To be on the safe side, take a few documents with you.
- If you have been convicted of a felony: If you have
been convicted of a felony, you can vote once you have served all terms of your
sentence, including probation or parole or supervision. If you have been
charged with a felony but you have not been convicted by the time Election Day
rolls around, you can vote. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, you
can vote. You never lose your voting rights simply because you have committed a
misdemeanor—even if you are serving your sentence on Election Day. Here’s some
information for you from the Government Accountability Board and ACLU of
Wisconsin. Feel free to call Wisconsin
Election Protection (1-866-OUR-VOTE) for assistance.
- Take a deep breath and don’t worry: Poll workers are prepared for many new voters on Nov. 6 and they will walk you through the process. Hang in there, because once you’re registered, you will be able to vote on Election Day.
Some helpful links:
- My Vote Wisconsin: Website or Toll-Free Voter Help Line at 1-866-VOTE-WIS
- City of Milwaukee Election Commission: Website or 286-VOTE
- ACLU of Wisconsin’s Voting Rights Information
- Wisconsin Election Protection: On Facebook or 1-866-OUR-VOTE
Now, on to the next big question: Who will get your vote?
The Shepherd Express proudly endorsed President Barack
Obama, U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin, Congresswoman Gwen Moore,
Congressional hopeful Rob Zerban, and the Democrats running for the state
Legislature. Remember—you can no longer vote a straight-party ticket on the ballot. Vote for each office on the ballot.
Take a look at our endorsements, then vote!