Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes and I understand that some folks have questions and concerns about the April 7th election. We want to assure you that everyone is working hard to get polling places and poll workers the resources they need to make sure voters stay safe. Clerks across the state are working overtime on election preparations to ensure that Wisconsinites have the ability to cast their ballot. Lieutenant Governor Barnes and I would like to provide an update on what we will be doing to ensure that Wisconsinites are able to cast their ballots in a safe manner.
On March 27th, I asked the Legislature to come together to take bipartisan action to ensure three things:
- Every registered voter receives an absentee ballot to vote in the upcoming election;
- Absentee ballots postmarked the day of the election are counted; and
- Our election workers have extra time to count the influx of ballots.
We need to be doing everything we can to ensure that voters can participate in the April 7th election while still staying safer at home, so I am hopeful that the Legislature will act swiftly.
In the meantime, you still have time to register to vote and request your absentee ballot. You can check your registration, register to vote online, and request your absentee ballot until Monday, March 30. Here are the steps you can follow to get registered, request your ballot, and stay safer at home while you vote:
1. Go to www.myvote.wi.gov on your computer or mobile device.
2. Check to see if you’re registered to vote
a. If you are not registered to vote, you can do so by clicking the “Register to Vote” tab on the website.
b. From there, the website will take you through a series of questions confirming your identity and address.
c. Note: you will need to include your driver’s license number, which is the 14 digit code on your ID that begins with a letter.
d. Already registered at your current address? Please skip ahead to Step 3.
3. Return to the main page and choose the “Vote Absentee” option.
a. You will need to enter information to confirm your address, which should be good to go if you’re registered to vote.
b. You will see some options when you get to the next page, including requesting a ballot for all elections in calendar year 2020, the April 7th election or other elections in 2020, or the ability to request a ballot for this and future elections, if you’re indefinitely confined. Please pick whichever option applies to you.
c. If you are an overseas or military voter, you can follow the above steps, too. Your ballot will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Election Day.
d. This will take you through a series of prompts, including verifying your identity by providing a photo of your driver's license or ID card.
e. To upload a photo, use your cell phone, mobile device, or camera to take a picture of your state ID. This website is safe and secure.
f. After that, the website will direct you to a confirmation page, which can you choose to print if you would like.
4. Once you have requested a ballot, you can follow up with an email to your local clerk confirming you sent in your ballot request. You might not get a response right away, but this is helpful for both you and the clerk’s office to track your submission. You can find a list of clerks here: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/MyMunicipalClerk.
a. Include in the email to your clerk your first and last name, address, and that you’re requesting an absentee ballot for the April 7th election.
5. If you requested an absentee ballot, you will receive the ballot by mail prior to the April 7th election.
6. Once you receive your ballot, please note that someone needs to witness the signature of your ballot. Considering the Safer at Home order, we understand this could be challenging for some folks. Here are some guidelines for who can serve as a witness:
a. Vote the ballot in the presence of one adult witness. The witness cannot be a candidate for the election.
7. Please feel free to call our offices or respond to this email with questions or for further assistance.
Our focus has been, and will continue to be, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election. The bottom line is everyone should be able to participate in our democracy. We know this is a difficult time, and that everyone is doing the best they can to stay safe. We also want to recognize and thank all the clerks and poll workers across the state who are working tirelessly to find a solution to ensure that Wisconsinites can participate in the April 7th election.
The Department of Health Services (DHS) is working with local and tribal health officers, health care providers, and other partners to adjust the response to COVID-19 as needed. As always, the public should follow simple steps to avoid getting sick and help stop the spread of the virus, including:
- Frequent and thorough handwashing;
- Covering coughs and sneezes;
- Avoiding touching your face; and
- Staying safer at home.
As we continue to receive updates on the status of COVID-19, my administration will continue to share the most accurate and current information that we have. Thank you again for contacting our offices.