Wisconsin Elections Commission: Top 5 things voters should know for Nov. 6 election

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Elections Commission on Tuesday, Oct. 30 released its list of the top five things Wisconsin voters should know for the election on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

1. Trust Wisconsin’s MyVote website for accurate information about the election.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission’s popular MyVote Wisconsin website, https://MyVote.wi.gov, is voters’ best source of information about when and where to vote, what’s on the ballot, absentee voting and voter registration.

“Because this is a big election, many groups want to help voters,” said Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief elections official.  “Most of them provide good information, but sometimes they make mistakes.  It’s also possible that someone may try to mislead voters.”

At MyVote, voters can also check whether their registration is current.  If you are sure you should be registered but cannot find your voter registration record, please contact your municipal clerk’s office, which can resolve any issues.

Wolfe said the commission is monitoring social media websites and other online sources for misinformation about the election.  “Follow us on social media for helpful tips on voting, as well as for updates in the event of problems before the election,” Wolfe said.

The WEC is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wisconsinelectionscommission and Twitter at @WI_Elections.

2. Your vote is secure.

Wisconsin’s election systems are secure thanks to the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s strong partnerships with federal and state agencies and local election officials.

“There is no evidence that Wisconsin’s election systems have ever been compromised,” said Wolfe.  “We have taken extraordinary steps in the last few years to ensure that our voter registration and vote counting systems are secure.”

Wolfe urged voters who have concerns about election security to take advantage of opportunities for the public to observe public voting equipment tests before the election.  “You can also be at your polling place at 8 p.m. to hear the election inspectors announce the results for your ward,” Wolfe said.  “Later in the evening, you can check your county clerk’s website to verify that the unofficial results they publish are the same.”

Voters with questions about election security can read more about the WEC’s efforts here: https://elections.wi.gov/elections-voting/security.

3. You will need an acceptable photo ID to vote.

“There are no recent changes to Wisconsin’s election laws for this election,” Wolfe said. “You will need to show an acceptable photo ID to vote.”

Wolfe said most voters already have the photo ID they need to vote, such as a Wisconsin driver's license or ID, and urged anyone with questions to visit the Bring It to the Ballot website (http://bringit.wi.gov) or call 1-866-VOTE-WIS for information.

Your acceptable photo ID for voting does not need to show your current address, and the name on your photo ID does not have to match your name on the voter list exactly, Wolfe said. “If it’s a difference like Jim for James or Kathy for Kathleen, that’s fine.”

A voter who does not have an acceptable photo ID must be offered a provisional ballot and the opportunity to submit a photo ID within three days after the election.

4. If you don’t have a photo ID, you can still get one for free at the Wisconsin DMV.

“Just bring whatever identifying documents you have like a birth certificate and proof of your current address to obtain a free photo ID,” Wolfe said.  “If you don’t have those documents you may still obtain a document that you can use for voting through the ID Petition Process at the DMV office.”

For more information about getting a state ID for voting, visit the Department of Transportation website: https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/dmv/license-drvs/how-to-apply/petition-process.aspx

5. You can register to vote for the first time or update your registration on Nov. 6.

Wisconsin has election day voter registration, allowing voters who meet the 10-day residency requirement to register and vote the same day.  This also helps voters who have changed their names and/or addresses.

Voters who need to register on election day must have a proof of residence document such as a utility bill (including cellphones), bank statement, residential lease, property tax bill, pay stub that includes their full name and residential street address.  You can use a document saved on your phone, Wolfe added. For details, check out the Voter Registration Guide: https://elections.wi.gov/voters/first-time-registration-guide.