Tips for Grads: Personal Effectiveness

Tips for Grads: Personal Effectiveness

By Matthew J. Zinsli, PhD student

With elections coming up in a few weeks, it’s a good time to answer questions that you may have about voting in Wisconsin. This is by no means a comprehensive guide, so if you have further questions, check out UW’s helpful voting guide. UW is participating in the Big Ten Voting Challenge, so take this opportunity to encourage all eligible voters to make their voices heard.

You must be a U.S. citizen and have lived in Wisconsin at least 10 days before the election. If you’ve ever been convicted of a felony, you must be off paper before registering to vote.

  • How do I register?

First, check if you are already registered to vote in Wisconsin. If not, you can do it online (or by mail) until Oct. 17. You can also register in person at in-person absentee voting locations, the City Clerk’s office, or at your polling place on Election Day. You will need proof of residence to do so, and an acceptable form of ID if you plan to vote same-day.

Part of registering to vote is proving where you live. You’ll need a document (paper or electronic) with your full name and current address on it, such as a recent utility bill, bank statement (not credit card bill), lease, or government-issued document (including anything from UW-Madison, as we are a state institution).

  • Where and when can I vote?

Find your polling place. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, with polls open 7 am – 8 pm. You can also vote before Election Day though in-person absentee balloting from Oct 15 – Nov. 3 at several locations.

  • What do I need to bring to vote?

If you’re already registered, you just need an acceptable form of ID to prove your identity. This can be a WI driver’s license or photo ID, passport, military ID, VA ID, tribal ID, or a UW voter ID card (not your Wiscard). The address on the ID doesn’t need to be current, and it can even be expired as long as it expired after Nov. 8, 2016.