There are significant changes to Wisconsin election law beginning in 2012. Most importantly, Wisconsin residents will now be required to sign a poll list and present identification to receive a ballot and vote. Acceptable forms of identification include the following:
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is required to provide a free identification card to anyone who will be at least 18 years old on the date of the next election and who requests the identification card for the purpose of voting. Normally, an identification card costs $28.
Obtaining an identification card from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation requires a birth certificate. Contact the Wisconsin Vital Records Office at 608-266-1373, or consult the local County Register of Deeds, for more information on how to obtain a birth certificate.
For confidential voters, such as those who have been victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault, the voter may either present the Protected Individual Identification Card (GAB-148) or provide the voter’s name and confidential voter identification serial number.
Voter identification requirements also apply to elderly and disabled voters who reside in facilities visited by Special Voting Deputies, such as nursing homes. Those voters may either comply with the new identification requirements, or they may provide a witness certification signed by both Special Voting Deputies.
Wisconsin law has also changed with respect to voter registration. A voter must now be a Wisconsin resident for at least 28 consecutive days prior to the election. In addition, a corroborating witness can no longer be used as proof of residence. Voter registration now ends at 5 PM on the Friday before the election and resumes on Election Day.
Absentee voting law has changed as well. For those wishing to vote in the municipal clerk’s office prior to an election, absentee voting is now limited to a two-week period, starting the third Monday before the election and ending the Friday before the election. Registering or voting absentee is no longer permitted during the weekend or on the Monday before the election. The voter identification requirements apply to absentee voting in the municipal clerk’s office. For those requesting an absentee ballot by mail, a copy of the voter’s identification must be included with the ballot request. For those requesting an absentee ballot by e-mail or fax, a copy of the voter’s identification must be included with either the ballot request or the returned ballot.
For additional information regarding the changes in Wisconsin election law, visit the Government Accountability Board website at http://gab.wi.gov, or call 866-VOTE-WIS, or contact the Government Accountability Board at 608-261-2028 or TTY 800-947-3529.
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