Because we cannot be certain that voting in person on Election Day will be safe either for voters or for poll workers, we urge everyone to plan to vote by absentee ballot. (If it is safe, you don't have to use the absentee ballot so you can still vote in person if you prefer.) The dates of the elections are August 11 for the partisan primary and November 3 for the national general election.
Requesting an absentee ballot online can be frustrating, but it does not have to be. The best way to accomplish the task is to use your smartphone or tablet. In the following illustration, a red arrow signifies a field you must complete. A blue arrow signifies the action to take when you have completed the screen.
Step 1: use an up-to-date browser (older ones are not well supported) and go to myvote.wi.gov.
Step 2: Choose "Vote Absentee" from the menu. The screen should look something like this illustration but it may be formatted differently depending on the device you are using:
Step 3: On the next screen, enter your name and date of birth. The system will then check to make sure you are a registered voter.
Step 4: Assuming you are a registered voter, you will next need to verify your name and address:
Step 5: Select the address you want your absentee ballot sent to. In most instances, you will choose your home address, but college students might well choose an address that is not the one they use when they're at school:
Step 6: On this screen you will choose the election(s) for which you want to vote with an absentee ballot. At this point in the year, you are required to request an absentee ballot for BOTH the August and the November elections. But remember that you can decide not to use the absentee ballot you receive in the mail. You can instead, if you choose, vote in person on election day.
Step 7: You will now be asked to upload a photo ID, usually your drivers license – but NOT A SELFIE!. (Here's a list of acceptable photo IDs.) If you have already done this before, you probably will not have to do it again. But some people have reported that they have needed to complete this step a second time, even though they used the system to request an absentee ballot in the past. Also, if you are using a computer with this system, you will need to take a photo of your ID, send it to yourself (sharing it and emailing it to yourself is usually the simplest method). Then save the photo from your email inbox. At that point, you can use the "Add Files +" button (see below) to upload your picture. If you are having trouble with the photo ID part of the process, please contact the Voter Protection Hotline at 608-336-3232.
If you are using a smart phone or tablet, the screen should look something like this:
After you click the button, the screen should display the following:
Using the camera in your device, take a picture of your photo ID and then click on "Use Photo."
Step 8: Congratulations! You're done.
Here's a video from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin that shows the steps on a smartphone. For some reason, the sound doesn't play for me (your results may vary) but the dynamic pictures of the screens are very clear. And here's another video, from Citizen Action of Wisconsin. It was made for the April 7 election, but the steps remain the same for every election. Just remember to choose "all elections this calendar year" rather than the April 7 election which is, of course, over and done with!
If you'd prefer to use another method, you can
Download and print a form, print a copy of your photo ID, and mail both documents to your municipal clerk. You can look up the clerk's name and address on myvote.wi.gov or find it on your municipality's website. Instead of putting your request form in the US mail, you can use a secure dropbox at your village or city hall to turn the documents in.
- Call, email or fax your municipal clerk. You can find contact information on your municipality's website or on myvote.wi.gov.