Online, Mail-In Voter Registration Deadline Nears In Wisconsin

Remote Registration Options End Oct. 14, In-Person Registration Will Continue

people registering to vote
Lucas Saez, foreground, 22, fills out his voter registration form as his father Ramiro Saez, center rear, looks on, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department in Doral, Fla. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the state’s voter registration deadline after heavy traffic crashed the state’s online system and potentially prevented thousands of enrolling to cast ballots in next month’s presidential election. Saez attempted to register to vote six times the night before without any luck. Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo

Wednesday is the final day Wisconsin residents can take advantage of remote options for registering to vote before the Nov. 3 election.

The deadline for online or mail-in voter registration is Oct. 14. After that, Wisconsin residents can register to vote in person at their clerk’s office or at early voting locations in their community. Early voting will be offered as early as Oct. 20, depending on the community.

Pre-Election Day voter registration ends Oct. 30, but residents may also register to vote at their polling place on Election Day.

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Election officials are urging people who need to register to vote in Wisconsin do so soon, regardless of whether they want to vote early or on Election Day. Officials point out getting new registrations out of the way early will allow people to request a mail-in ballot sooner and limit lines and crowds at polling places on Election Day.

Meagan Wolfe, head of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, said the options for online or by-mail voter registration are important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you’re going to vote by absentee ballot or you have health concerns where you’re not wanting to appear in person, then registering to vote online or by mail is the option for you,” Wolfe said on a call with reporters on Tuesday.Making a plan for how you’re going to register to vote, if you can or cannot appear in person, is really important at this juncture so that you’re able to hit all those deadlines to be able to do so.”

To register online, residents need to provide their name, date of birth, driver’s license or state ID number, and an address that matches what is on file with the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles. If their address with the DMV isn’t up-to-date, that can be updated online. People who are experiencing homelessness may use a letter from a shelter or another organization that provides services to individuals without housing as their proof of residence document.

To register by mail, voters need to download a form and mail it to their local clerk’s office along with a proof or residence document. That mailing would need to be postmarked by Oct. 14 to be valid.

After completing registration, voters who would like to vote by mail have until 5 p.m. on the Thursday before Election Day to request their ballot. However, officials are urging people who want to vote by mail to request their ballot and return it as soon as possible.

The U.S. Postal Service is recommending allowing seven days for voters to receive their ballot in the mail after requesting it and another seven days for it to make its way through the mail system back to their local clerk. Ballots must be received by clerks by 8 p.m. Election Day in order to be counted.

Some communities are also offering drop boxes for mail-in ballots as well.

Officials urge people with questions about registering to vote in Wisconsin to visit the MyVote Wisconsin website or call the Elections Commission’s toll-free voter hotline: 1-866-VOTE-WIS (868-3947).