The Big One: What To Do on Election Day

Nov. 5, 2012
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Still confused about voting on Nov. 6?

Don’t worry.

Although the state Legislature passed some new regulations, voting in Wisconsin is pretty simple.

You do not need a photo ID to vote.

Let me repeat that: You do not need a photo ID to vote.

That said, you do need to know a few things before you head to the polls.

If you are not registered to vote at your current address, you definitely can vote on Nov. 6. You can register at your polling place on Election Day. Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6. 

Some tips: 

  • Check your registration status: Go the My Vote Wisconsin site and check out your voting status and polling place. Click on “regular voter,” then type in your information on the next page. The next page will list your address, registration information, and other stuff. If this page says “active” on the status line, and it lists your current address—otherwise known as the address at which you lived on Oct. 10, 2012—you’re good to go. If the information is incorrect or out of date, you’ll need to register at the poll on Tuesday. If you moved after Oct. 10, you need to vote at your pre-Oct. 10 residence in order to fulfill the state's new 28-day residency rule.
  • Find your polling place: Once you’re in your personal page in the My Vote Wisconsin website, click on Election and Polling Place Info on the left side of the screen to find your polling place. (It may have changed since the last time you voted.)
  • Check out your sample ballot: Once you’re in your personal page in the My Vote Wisconsin website, click on Sample Ballot on the left side of the screen to review the candidates on the ballot. Since the legislative districts were revised this year, you may have new elected officials representing you.
  • Register: You need to register to vote if you are not registered at your current address (your Oct. 10 address) or if your name has changed since you last voted. You do not need a photo ID to register to vote, but you will need at least one (and perhaps more) documents to prove your identity and residence. Here’s a list of documents you can use to prove your residence. To be on the safe side, take a few documents with you.
  • If you have been convicted of a felony: If you have been convicted of a felony, you can vote once you have served all terms of your sentence, including probation or parole or supervision. If you have been charged with a felony but you have not been convicted by the time Election Day rolls around, you can vote. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, you can vote. You never lose your voting rights simply because you have committed a misdemeanor—even if you are serving your sentence on Election Day. Here’s some information for you from the Government Accountability Board and ACLU of Wisconsin. Feel free to call Wisconsin Election Protection (1-866-OUR-VOTE) for assistance.
  • Take a deep breath and don’t worry: Poll workers are prepared for many new voters on Nov. 6 and they will walk you through the process. Hang in there, because once you’re registered, you will be able to vote on Election Day.

Some helpful links:

  • My Vote Wisconsin: Website or Toll-Free Voter Help Line at 1-866-VOTE-WIS

  • City of Milwaukee Election Commission: Website or 286-VOTE
  • Wisconsin Election Protection: On Facebook or 1-866-OUR-VOTE

Now, on to the next big question: Who will get your vote?

The Shepherd Express proudly endorsed President Barack Obama, U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Congressional hopeful Rob Zerban, and the Democrats running for the state Legislature. Remember—you can no longer vote a straight-party ticket on the ballot. Vote for each office on the ballot.

Take a look at our endorsements, then vote!



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