Voting in Wisconsin will require a little more advance planning. Starting with the Feb. 21 primaries, all voters will be required to show an acceptable form of identification at the polling place (See Valid IDs,”below.)
For UWM students: Voter ID cards
UWM received approval from Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board to issue separate student identification cards that can be used for voting. UWM is providing detailed information on steps UWM students need to take to register and vote in Wisconsin at www.voterid.uwm.edu.
While the majority of students already have one of the acceptable forms of identification required by the new law, UWM is providing a free Student Voter ID card for those who do not. UWM students who are registered to vote in Wisconsin may meet the voter identification requirements under the new law by presenting their UWM Student Voter ID card and a printout from the university’s PAWS system verifying that they are currently enrolled.
The UWM Student Voter ID card is separate from the regular campus ID card, which does not meet the law’s definition of valid identification. And, the new Student Voter ID cards do not replace current student ID cards used for other purposes.
The Student Voter ID cards are available free from the Department of Enrollment Services Information Center (Mellencamp Hall, room 274). Call 414-229-3800 or go to www4.uwm.edu/des/Help/ for office hours.
The UWM Voter ID Enrollment Verification Letter is available on PAWS. If a student’s address is not current, s/he should go to the “Personal Information” section, update the address and save it, then click on the “Voter ID Enrollment Letter” link, also in the “Personal Information” section.
“Thus far, demand for the voter ID cards has been very light, with only a handful of students needing them,” says Beth Weckmueller, director of Enrollment Services. “Quite a few more students have inquired, but once staff spoke with them, they realized they already had another valid form of ID”.
“There has been more interest in the Voter ID Enrollment/Address verification link,” she adds, “with nearly 100 students having accessed that to date.”
For everyone: Registering to vote
People who haven’t previously voted in Wisconsin or who have moved since they last voted will need to register before voting. Here’s how:
- Register by mail up to 20 days before the election. Go to the online Wisconsin Voter Registration application (gab.wi.gov/node/1921), fill it out and mail the form to your municipal clerk. If you are a first-time voter in Wisconsin, you will also need to send in proof of residence (see sidebar). For those voting in the City of Milwaukee, the municipal clerk’s address is 200 E. Wells St., Room 501, Milwaukee, WI 53202. For other municipal clerks’ addresses go to: gab.wi.gov/sites/default/files/page/municipal_clerks_updated_10_19_11_pdf_17338.PDF.
- Register in person at the municipal clerk’s office until the Friday before the election. If it is fewer than 20 days before the election, you will need to provide proof of residence.
- Register on election day at the polls. You will need to show both an acceptable photo ID and proof of residence.