2023 election schedule:
Spring Primary Election – Tuesday, Feb. 21
Spring Election – Tuesday, April 4
Here’s an overview of the 2023 spring elections.
Interactive tool guides you to voting
Learn exactly what you need to do to vote — where and how — by following an interactive tool at go.wisc.edu/StepstoVoteUW.
Students and members of the campus community are encouraged to sign-up for the new BadgersVote Text alert to be kept up-to-date on elections and civic engagement. Simply text the word BadgersVote to the number 47020.
We will text you key dates and events concerning upcoming elections, and remind you to vote on election day. Once you’re signed up for the group, you can submit questions about voting to us and we will respond.
Voting guides for all 50 states can be found here.
Be prepared to vote.
Here’s what you need to know.
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You are eligible to vote in Wisconsin if:
- You are a U.S. citizen;
- Will be 18 years of age on or before Election Day;
- Have resided in Wisconsin for at least 28 consecutive days before Election Day;
- AND are not currently serving a felony sentence, including probation/parole.
Note: You can only vote once per election cycle, in one location. You cannot vote in Madison AND a separate home district.
STEP 1: Decide if you need to register
If you’ve voted before and you’re living at the same address as the last time you voted (including apartment number), you should already be registered. You can check if you are registered on the MyVote Wisconsin website.
You will need to register or re-register if:
- You are a first-time voter;
- You have moved to a new address (or even changed apartment numbers) since the last time you voted; or,
- You have changed your legal name since the last time you voted.
STEP 2: Prepare to register
To register to vote, you will need documentation that proves your place of residence in Wisconsin.
Acceptable proofs of current address for registering
If you have been issued a Wisconsin driver license or Wisconsin ID card that is current and valid, you must provide the number and expiration date.
- If your Wisconsin driver license is revoked, suspended, or expired, or your Wisconsin ID card is expired, provide the driver license or Wisconsin ID card number and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
- If you have not been issued a Wisconsin driver license or Wisconsin ID card, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number.
- If you have none of these documents, you will be able to indicate that fact.
If you do not have a Wisconsin driver license or Wisconsin ID card, you will need the last four digits of your Social Security number in addition to one of the forms of ID listed below.
Note: A UW–Madison campus-issued voter ID card is NOT acceptable proof of address.
In lieu of a paper copy, individuals may present an electronic display of a qualifying document named below on a mobile device or computer to prove their address for residency verification.
The following documents are acceptable as proof of address if they have your current name and current address printed on them:
- An electronically-displayed or printed Voter Enrollment Verification Letterfrom the Office of the Registrar. (Guest and Special Students are not eligible for the voter enrollment letter.) Read more about this topic.
- A current and valid Wisconsin driver license or Wisconsin identification card.
- Any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit.
- 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. (You cannot use a lease as proof of address if registering by mail.)
- A UW–Madison or Edgewood College ID card with a photograph of the cardholder, accompanied by a fee statement for the current semester.
- 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, credit union or credit card statements. 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.
STEP 3: Register to vote
There are a few different ways to register to vote in Wisconsin. The one you choose will depend on how far away election day is and what type of voter ID you will be using.
If there are MORE than 20 days left until Election Day, you can:
- Register by mail. Follow the instructions on this website.
- Register online at wi.govif:
- You have a current valid Wisconsin driver license or Wisconsin ID card.
- Your current name and zip code are in the DMV database.
- You can update your address in the DMV database.
- No further proof of residence is needed. The address on your ID does not matter.
- Register in person at many Madison locations, including the City Clerk’s Office and any Madison Public Library.
If there are FEWER than 20 days left until Election Day, you can:
- Register in person until the Friday before Election Day at in-person absentee voting sites.
- You must provide acceptable proof of current residence to register this close to the election. (See acceptable forms of proof listed above.) Documents used as proof of address may be presented in paper or electronic format.
On Election Day
- Register on Election Day at your polling location.
- You must provide acceptable proof of current residence to register on Election Day. (See acceptable forms of proof listed above.) Documents used as proof of address may be presented in paper or electronic format.
- Being pre-registered helps you vote faster on Election Day, but registering at the polls is permissible.
Information on election officials
Only Election Registration Officials, who are employees of the City, can register you, unless you can register online.
The City of Madison has trained Election Registration Officials who will be able to register City of Madison residents and assist them in casting an in-person absentee ballot at Madison Public Libraries and some other locations (including Memorial Union and Union South on campus) in the 20 days leading up to Election Day. The City of Madison has a schedule of in-person absentee voting for this election on its website.
Students who live in other Wisconsin municipalities outside of Madison need to contact their municipal clerks for information. They will have to register with their local clerk’s office by mail (if registering more than 20 days in advance), in-person at their clerk’s office or at the polls. They can get the contact information through MyVote.wi.gov or on Dane County’s website.
To cast your ballot, you will need documentation that proves your identity.
Acceptable forms of identification for voting include:
- A valid Wisconsin driver license or Wisconsin state ID
- U.S. passport
- U.S. Uniformed Services card
- Veterans Affairs ID
- Tribal ID
- Certificate of naturalization.
- Students only: a free campus-issued voter ID card. See the “Campus-issued voter ID” section for more information. Your Wiscard is not an acceptable form of voter ID.
The address on your ID does not matter; the purpose of presenting your ID at the polls is to prove your identity.
Campus-issued voter ID
A campus-issued voter ID card may be used to receive a ballot at the polls. It cannot be used on its own to register to vote.
Students without one of the forms of ID listed above can get a free campus-issued voter ID card. Note: Your Wiscard is not a valid form of voter ID.
How to get a free campus-issued voter ID card
Campus-issued voter ID cards are available in two formats:
- A downloadable PDF that must be printed and signed or
- A hard-copy voter ID card available at the Wiscard office in Union South
Using a downloadable PDF voter ID at the polls
- Enrolled students who have a Wiscard can download their campus-issued voter ID card at voterID.wisc.edu.
- Print and sign the ID card. (Find available print stations here).
Using a downloadable PDF voter ID to request an absentee ballot online
- When requesting an absentee ballot at MyVote.wi.gov, the website will prompt you to upload this file showing the signed ID.
- Download your PDF voter ID from voterID.wisc.edu and open the file with Adobe Acrobat DC.
- Use the fill and sign tool (under the “Sign” menu in the upper left) to fill the signature space on the ID.
How to get a free hard-copy voter ID card
- Visit the Wiscard office in Union South. (Check here for hours and access information)
Using a campus-issued voter ID before and after its expiration date
- These ID cards are valid on their own until they expire.
- If your campus-issued voter ID card is expired, you can print a new one (see below) or present your expired ID at the polls together with proof that you are currently enrolled, such as a current student bus pass, course schedule or Voter Enrollment Verification letter.
What else to know
- Obtaining a campus-issued voter ID card does not register you to vote. That’s a separate process. Read more in the Voter Registration section above
- Campus-issued voter ID cards can be obtained on Election Day at the Wiscard office and at campus polling locations.
Don’t wait until Election Day to get your card. Any student who is issued a Wiscard (and doesn’t present a Wisconsin driver license) is asked if they would like a voter ID.
Vote early in person (also called in-person absentee voting)
Starting 14 days before Election Day until the Friday before Election Day, you can:
- Vote in-person absentee at many Madison locations, including at any Madison Public Library and at designated campus locations.
Vote absentee by mail
STEP 1: Request an absentee ballot:
- Online: Visit myvote.wi.gov
- By mail: Download the Application For Absentee Ballot, complete the form and mail it to your municipal clerk’s office.
STEP 2: Return your absentee ballot:
- When you receive your ballot, fill it out and mail it back as soon as possible.
- The U.S. Postal Service recommends mailing it at least one week in advance of Election Day.
Voting absentee while studying abroad
- Study abroad students should plan ahead about registering, getting an absentee ballot, and photo ID. See tips for study abroad students.
- Please note all deadlines so that you can get your absentee ballot submitted in time.
Voting on Election Day
Vote at your designated polling place.
On Election Day, you can only vote at your designated polling place. Find your Election Day polling place.
Voting for out-of-state students
College students have a choice to vote either in their “home” state or in their “school” state, as most meet residency requirements to vote in Wisconsin.
Why vote in Wisconsin as an out-of-state student?
Your voting process will be easy! You can vote in person early or on election day, and you don’t have to worry about an absentee ballot arriving on time to your home state.
You will be voting in the state and locality where you spend the most time and see the daily news.
As an out-of-state student voter, you’ll need to:
- Register to vote in personor by mail (online services are not available); and,
- Make sure you have an accepted voter ID (either a US Passport or a free campus-issued voter ID). See more information under the Voter Registration section above.
To vote in your home state
Visit Project Vote Smart to find dates of elections in other states.
When are elections?
Spring Primary Election – Tuesday, Feb. 21
Spring Election – Tuesday, April 4
For more information on Wisconsin elections and voting, visit the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
Accessibility features at voting sites
When you vote in Wisconsin, you can request accommodations at the polls. The following accessibility features are available at polling locations in Wisconsin under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):
- At least one accessible van and accessible car parking spot.
- Ramps and curb cuts, where needed.
- Entrances with automatic push buttons, call buttons or door monitors.
- Ballot marking devices that have the following features: text to speech, large print and braille buttons.
- Pen and paper for non-oral communication with poll workers.
- Large print signs marking the path to a building’s voting location.
The ADA requires all voting site to have these features. However, the act is often enforced when a building is renovated, so many voting sites are not yet fully equipped with each of the accessibility features mentioned above.
Contact the Madison City Clerk’s office at email@example.com if you have questions about which accessibility features are available at your polling site.
Asserting your access needs at the polls
As a voter, you have the right to vote privately and independently. You can assert your access needs on Election Day through any of the following actions:
- Seeking assistance from workers at the polling place who have been trained on the use of the ballot marking device and other accessibility features.
- Bringing someone to help you vote.
- Asking your local election officials about any voting aids or voting assistance procedures that are available.
If you have any further questions about accessible voting amenities in the city of Madison, visit the City Clerk’s page on voting accessibility.