Changes for voters include new voting machines, voter ID requirement

MILWAUKEE -- Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, February 16th to vote in the spring primary election for state and local offices. For those who plan to exercise their right to vote, there are a few things to remember on Election Day.

In Milwaukee County in particular, voters will find some differences at the polls. For starters, the way your ballot is cast has changed -- the old machines are out.

"Most of the old machines were anywhere from 20 to 30 years old. So they needed to be replaced. They couldn't be repaired. Parts weren't available. So it was time to update to new equipment," said Joe Czarnezki, Milwaukee County clerk.

The new machines are in.

"This new voting equipment combines the best aspects of our old voting machines with new technology," said Czarnezki.

It is user-friendly with a display screen that will give you instructions. The machines have been tested and delivered to all 19 municipalities -- and the Milwaukee County clerk does not expect any hiccups.

"They were used in two special aldermanic elections, both in the City of Milwaukee and the City of Franklin -- and those elections went very, very smoothly," said Czarnezki.

To make the process as smooth as possible, bring your ID to the polls. In order to vote, the State of Wisconsin now requires you to have a valid photo ID. It can be one of the following:

    Your address on those IDs does not need to be current.

    "I know a lot of people, when they move, they don't update their address on their driver's license. So as long as your ID is still valid, you can use that as your photo ID," said Czarnezki.

    The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board is predicting about ten percent of eligible voters will go to the polls for the spring primary on Tuesday. In Milwaukee County, that turnout could be slightly higher at around 20 percent. However, officials do not expect long lines or waits.