Jeramey Jannene

Early Voting Underway For Spring Primary

Through Feb. 18, Milwaukee voters can cast their ballots at any of 7 city polling sites.

By - Feb 8th, 2023 04:06 pm
Early voting sign outside the Zeidler Municipal Building. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Early voting sign outside the Zeidler Municipal Building. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Can’t wait to cast your ballot for one of the Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates? The polls are open.

Early voting is underway for the Feb. 21 spring primary election. It lasts until Feb. 18.

Individuals are able to vote at any of the seven locations, regardless of where in the city they live. Voters seeking to register can also do so, through Feb. 17.

All Milwaukee voters will find the hotly-contested nonpartisan Supreme Court race on their ballots. From the four candidates, the top two vote-getters will advance to the general election.

Many north side voters will also find an aldermanic primary on their ballot. The three special elections are to fill vacant Common Council seats. The top two vote-getters will advance to the general election.

The April 4 general election will also include school board races for many city voters. (There weren’t enough candidates to require a primary election for these positions.)

State statute allows municipalities to host early voting (in-person absentee voting) for up to two weeks before an election. But voters cannot register to vote or change their address on the weekend before the election and the municipalities cannot host early voting on the Monday before the election.

Voters can also return absentee ballots at each early voting location while it is open. A 2022 Supreme Court ruling prohibits the use of unstaffed drop boxes, but the staffed voting sites can accept absentee ballots.

Individuals voting early will encounter different voting equipment than what they would find on election day at a city polling site. Since the fall 2018 election, the Milwaukee Election Commission has used touchscreen voting machines for early voting that print a filled-out ballot versus paper ballots. The electronic machines avoid the need to stock paper ballots for more than 300 wards at each early voting site.

Early votes are processed alongside mail-in ballots at the city’s central count facility on election day.

Locations and Hours

The seven sites are open under two different set of hours.

The following sites are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The following sites are open Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Voting In-Person on Election Day

Do none of those dates and times work? Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, but your polling location may have changed. The city adopted new wards in late 2021 as part of the decennial redistricting process, and as a result some voters might have a new polling location. Voters should check the state’s My Vote WI website to identify their ward number and polling place. Voters can register on election day.

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Categories: Politics

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