2020 elections

Wisconsin has two upcoming elections: the August 11 partisan primary and the general and presidential election on Nov. 3. See who’s on the ballot.

You can choose to vote either in your home state, or in Wisconsin if you are a UW-Madison student. Check with your state if voting in that location. Here are some ways you prepare to vote in Wisconsin.

In-person absentee voting

Early in-person absentee voting will be available from noon to 4 p.m. from Monday, Aug. 3 to Thursday, Aug. 6, in large outdoor tents at Library Mall, Engineering Mall, outside DeJope Residence Hall, and outside the Kohl Center. Also, see other drive-up absentee voting locations and absentee ballot drop-off sites, here.

Election Day curbside voting

Polling places on the UW-Madison campus will offer the option of voting by curbside in the Aug. 11 primary. For curbside voting, voters should bring an acceptable ID for the purpose of voting, plus a blue or black ball point pen, if they wish. It is possible to also register at curbside, but the voter will need to bring something to prove their address if they have lived there for at least 28 days prior to Election Day.

Teams of two poll workers with masks, face shields, and high visibility vests will verify a voter’s ID. The poll workers will go into the polling place to check the voter into the poll book, announce they are taking a ballot out to the voter, and bring a ballot to the voter’s vehicle. The voter will vote on their ballot and return it to the poll workers. Poll workers will enter the polling place to feed the ballot into the tabulator face-down, to protect the integrity of a secret ballot.

There will be polling places at the following UW-Madison locations in the Aug. 11 partisan primary:

·         Eagle Heights (Ward 60)

·         Memorial Library (Wards 56 and 57)

·         Pyle Center (Wards 47 and 48)

·         Union South, Room 1 (Ward 55)

·         Union South, Room 2 (Wards 58, 59, and 147)

·         UW Welcome Center, 21 N. Park St. (Ward 67)

Text alerts

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 555 888.

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.

Interactive voting tool

For customized details on how to vote based upon your circumstances, visit the interactive tool at go.wisc.edu/StepsToVoteUW.

Be prepared to vote.
Here’s what you need to know.

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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 10 consecutive days before Election Day, and are not currently serving a felony sentence, including probation/parole, you are eligible to vote in Wisconsin.

What IDs are acceptable to vote?

Photo ID

Acceptable forms of identification 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.

The address on your ID does not matter; the purpose of presenting your ID at the polls is to prove your identity.

Students without one of the forms of ID listed above can obtain a UW–Madison voter-compliant ID card free of charge, and present that at the polls together with a Voter Enrollment Verification letter (printed or on a mobile device). Both documents must be presented at the polls.

The UW-issued card may only be used for voting purposes. It remains valid for voting even after the expiration date printed on the card. It is not intended as a replacement or substitute for the Wiscard and is not valid for any other purpose or service on campus.

Enrollment verification

Users of the UW–Madison voter-compliant ID card must also present proof of enrollment, such as the university’s Voter Enrollment Verification letter (in MyUW’s Student Center). Students may print the form or display it to the poll worker on an electronic device. This form can also be used to show proof of residence for voter registration.

Obtaining a voter-compliant ID card

Bring a valid Wiscard to the Wiscard Office at Union South and request a free voter-compliant ID card.

Wiscard Office Hours – Mondays and Thursdays 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

NOTE: Your Wiscard student ID is not valid as a voter ID. Read Chancellor Blank’s statement on this decision.

Obtaining the free voter-compliant ID card does not register you to vote. That’s a separate process – read more under Registration.

In addition, a Wiscard can be obtained at the following places on election days:

  • August 11 fall primary: Wiscard office and Memorial Union.
  • November 3, presidential election: Wiscard office and seven campus polling locations.

Students shouldn’t wait until election day to acquire the 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.


Do you need to register?

If you are voting 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 at My Vote Wisconsin.

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)
  • You have changed your legal name since the last time you voted

Prepare to register

If you have been issued a Wisconsin driver license or DOT ID card, you will need that number.
If you do not have the above, you will need the last four digits of your Social Security number.  More information is below

How to register

Options for registering include online registration (for those eligible); by mail; in person; or at your polling place on Election Day.

Register online: You can complete your voter registration online at myvote.wi.gov if:

· 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 at wisconsindot.gov/Pages/online-srvcs/change-addy/default.aspx. No further proof of residence is needed. The address on your ID does not matter.

Online registration closes March 30 for the April 7 election.

Register at a campus event: Find an event here.

Register by mail (in Wisconsin) (more than 20 days prior to the election): Follow the instructions on this website.

Register in person (in Madison):

You can register at the City Clerk’s Office until the close of business on the Friday before an election. Everyone needs to provide acceptable proof of current residence to register this close to the election. (See acceptable forms of proof listed below.) Documents used as proof of address may be presented in paper or electronic format.

Until 20 days prior to an election, you can register at several additional locations, including any Madison Public Library.

Once registration closes 20 days before an election, you may only register to vote in the City Clerk’s Office or other City of Madison in-person absentee voting site (during absentee voting hours) with proof of address, until the close of absentee voting the Friday before the election.

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 the SAC on campus) within that 20-day window. The City of Madison has a schedule of in-person absentee voting for this election on its website here.

Students who live in other municipalities need to contact their municipal clerks for information. They will have to register in-person at their clerk’s office or at the polls. They can get the contact information through MyVote.wi.gov or here: https://www.countyofdane.com/election/clerks.aspx

Register on Election Day at your polling station: You will need the same items needed to register at the clerk’s office as described above. Being pre-registered helps you vote faster on Election Day, but registering at the polls is permissible.


  • If you have been issued a Wisconsin driver license or WisDOT-issued ID 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 WisDOT-issued ID is expired, provide the number and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • If you have not been issued a Wisconsin driver’s license or WisDOT-issued ID, 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.

Acceptable proofs of current address for registering

If you register by mail, in person, or on Election Day, you must provide proof of residence. This document proves where you live in Wisconsin.

The following are acceptable, but they must have your current name and address printed on them.

  • An electronically displayed or printed Voter Enrollment Verification Letter from 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’s 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Note: A UW–Madison voter-issued ID card on its own is NOT acceptable proof of address.

Where do I vote?

Note: You can only vote once per election cycle, in one location. You cannot vote in Madison AND a separate home district.

Polling places for off-campus residents

Find out where you vote.

Polling places for campus residents

They are:

·         Eagle Heights (Ward 60)

·         Memorial Library (Wards 56 and 57)

·         Pyle Center (Wards 47 and 48)

·         Union South, Room 1 (Ward 55)

·         Union South, Room 2 (Wards 58, 59, and 147)

·         UW Welcome Center, 21 N. Park St. (Ward 67)

You can only vote at your polling place on election day. Find out where you vote.

Voting early

In Wisconsin

You can vote before Election Day using absentee voting, either by mail or in person. For more information, visit the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Voters can also request an absentee ballot through MyVote.wi.gov.

Early on-campus voting

Early in-person absentee voting will be available from noon to 4 p.m. from Monday, Aug. 3 to Thursday, Aug. 6, in large outdoors tents  at Library Mall, Engineering Mall, outside DeJope Residence Hall, and outside the Kohl Center.Also, see other drive-up absentee voting locations and absentee ballot drop-off sites, here.

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.

In your home state

Visit Project Vote Smart to find dates of elections in other states.

When are elections?

For more information on Wisconsin elections and voting, visit the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

The next elections are:

Fall Primary: Aug. 11, 2020
Presidential Election: Nov. 3, 2020