Wisconsin Elections Commission
Press Release

Important Reminders for Voters about the February 19 Spring Primary

There will be 294 primary elections in school districts, cities, villages and towns within 41 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, according to data compiled by the WEC.

By - Feb 15th, 2019 09:55 am

MADISON, WI – With no statewide Spring Primary this year, just one in five voters will have local primaries on Tuesday, February 19, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

There will be 294 primary elections in school districts, cities, villages and towns within 41 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, according to data compiled by the WEC.  There are more than 710,500 active registered voters in places with primaries, though anyone eligible to vote can register on Election Day at the polling place. Wisconsin had 3.42 million active registered voters on Feb. 1, 2019.

“Even though this will be a relatively small election, there are still important things voters need to know,” said Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief election official. “Most people already have the ID they need to vote. Those who don’t have a photo ID still have time to get a free one at the DMV, but they should not delay.”

Acceptable photo IDs for voting include a Wisconsin driver license or Wisconsin state ID card, Veterans Health Administration ID card, military ID card, U.S. passport, tribal ID card and some student ID cards. A full list is available at www.BringIt.WI.gov.

Wolfe reminds voters that the address on their photo ID does not need to match the address on the poll book. “When you show your ID, you are proving your identity, not where you live,” she said. “Voters prove their residence when they register to vote.”

What’s on the ballot?

Wolfe urged voters who want to know if they have a primary and what’s on their ballot to visit the My Vote Wisconsin website: https://MyVote.WI.gov.

There is one primary race for a state office – circuit court judge in Ozaukee County. Voters in 250 municipalities will find primaries for local school boards, for town, village and city offices, and for a few county offices. There is only one school district referendum – in Northland Pines School District in Vilas County. A list of all primaries is attached to this news release.

Register or reregister at the polls.

Wolfe reminds voters that if they plan to register for the first time or update their registration with a change of name or address at the polls on Election Day, they must bring a proof of residence document like a utility bill, showing the voter’s current name and address.

“Election Day registration ensures that everyone who is qualified to vote will get to vote,” said Wolfe, interim administrator of the WEC. “However, you must bring a current proof of residence document to register on Election Day.”

Acceptable proof of residence documents also include a lease, bank statement, cell phone bill or other official government documents, and can be on paper or an electronic device like a smartphone or tablet. A list of acceptable documents is available at https://elections.wi.gov/publications/voter-guides/proof-of-residence. Before Election Day, you must have lived at your current address for at least 10 days to be eligible to vote, but the proof of residence document does not need to be 10 days old.

You can also register to vote before Election Day. Registration in your municipal clerk’s office takes place until 5 p.m. on the Friday before the election (February 15, 2019). Remember, you will still need to bring your proof of residence document to register. By law, Wisconsin’s electronic voter registration system is turned off within 20 days of an election for those jurisdictions with a primary election but will be available again after the Spring Primary. Voters may start the registration process at https://myvote.wi.gov by submitting an electronic form and bringing the paper copy to their municipal clerk’s office.

Voters who may not be sure whether their registration is current can check their status with their municipal clerk, or on the state’s MyVote Wisconsin website https://myvote.wi.gov. My Vote Wisconsin is also a great resource to find your municipal clerk’s contact information and your polling place.

Other important reminders:

Absentee ballots must be received by Election Day.  If you had an absentee ballot mailed to you, it must be received in your municipal clerk’s office by Election Day (February 19, 2019).

Your voter registration information and your vote are safe.  Wisconsin’s voter registration system is secure and encrypted to protect from hackers.  All of Wisconsin’s voting systems are paper-based and contain multiple checks and redundancies, including pre-election testing and processes for media, campaign, and election officials to check, audit, and validate the results.

Don’t leave the polling place without voting.  A voter may cast a provisional ballot if the voter does not have a photo ID, forgets to bring a photo ID to the polls, or if the poll workers do not accept the ID for some reason.  A provisional ballot is just like a regular ballot, except that it is placed in a special envelope and is not counted unless the voter returns with an acceptable photo ID.  The deadlines for fixing a provisional ballot are 8 p.m. on Election Day at the polling place or by 4 p.m. the Friday after the election in the municipal clerk’s office.  Voters who left their photo ID at home can also simply retrieve it and then cast a ballot rather than casting a provisional ballot.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission is responsible for administration and enforcement of election laws in Wisconsin.  The Commission is made up of six Commissioners – four appointed directly by the State Senate Majority Leader, Speaker of the Assembly and the Minority Leaders in the State Senate and Assembly. The remaining two Commissioners are by the Governor with confirmation by the State Senate from lists of former municipal and county clerks submitted by the legislative leadership in each party.

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