Elections 2017: February Elections

Thursday September 15, 2016

2017 is an election year and the Spring election is upon us. You can vote early at your town/village/city hall from February 1 to February 17 or at your regular polling place on February 21st. See below for information about Voting Early or Absentee.

Don’t forget to vote. Eligible adults who are not yet registered can still register. See the section on voter registration, below.

If you are one of the many registered voters moved since you last voted, you need to re-register to vote.

You can do this in person at your old polling place on Election Day or by absentee ballot before the election. To vote absentee, request an absentee ballot from your municipal clerk and cast the ballot by mail. See section on absentee ballots, below.

You can find out more information about registration, including the forms used by elections officials, by visiting My Vote WI .

Eligibility

All Wisconsin adults are eligible to vote unless a court has removed that right. The two most important ways the right to vote is removed are:

Registration

People who are eligible to vote must be registered to vote. You can register in advance or at the poll on election day.

You will need documents to prove who you are to register. You will need:

The Voter ID requirement is in effect. You will need a drivers license or other approved ID to vote once you are registered. The Wisconsin Elections and Ethics Commissions (formerly the GAB) is responsible for coordinating elections at the state level. You can find more information on IDs and other topics on the EEC website .

Sample Ballots, Polls and Other Information

The State of Wisconsin maintains a “ My Vote Wisconsin “ web site for voters. The information available on the site includes:

Voting Early or Absentee

You can also vote absentee at your local municipal clerk’s office. In-person absentee voting (also known as early voting) runs for two weeks before an election, ending at 5 p.m. or the close of business (whichever is later) on the Friday before the election.   Please check with your municipal clerk for office hours.

You can find your clerk at My Vote WI: myvote.wi.gov by searching for your voter record or performing an address search. You can also find your clerk by searching through the list of all Wisconsin municipal clerks

If you apply for an absentee ballot in your municipal clerk’s office, you must vote immediately, seal your ballot in the proper envelope, and return it to a member of the clerk’s staff.  No ballots may be taken from the clerk’s office. 

You can also vote absentee by mail if you will not be able to go to the polls on election day. More information about voting early or absentee voting is also available at the EEC website .

Voter Assistance/Get Your Questions Answered:

Of course, your Center for Independent Living provides information about elections and voting to many people. Another resource is Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW). DRW has information and may be able to personally help any person having voting trouble related to their disability.

To reach DRW’s toll-free Voting Rights Line, call 800/928-8778 (voice) or 888/758-6049 (TTY). Phones are answered between 8:30 and 5:00 most weekdays, and from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Election Days.

Ask if you need help:

Advocates urge voters to use the accessible voting machines when voting to ensure they are up and running for others in your community. Please let DRW know if you notice accessibility problems at your polls.

Other Voting Information

The outcomes of the elections could have a significant impact on the advancement of our community’s priorities. Here are some resources to help in your efforts to get out the vote and explore your local candidates’ positions.

The Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition maintains a website. You can find information on voting specifically for people with disabilities on the site.

The League of Woman Voters and other organizations provide information on candidates to help voters make decisions. Some local Leagues ask candidates questions on issues and publish the results.

Another source is www.866ourvote.org . Their toll-free number, 1-866-OUR-VOTE, is administered by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The companion number, 1-888-Ve-Y-Vota, is administered by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund. This website, and comprehensive voter protection field programs across the country, provides Americans from coast to coast with comprehensive voter information and advice on how they can make sure their vote is counted.

Future Elections

Wisconsin holds elections for local and other “non-partisan” offices every Spring. In the Fall of even-numbered years like 2016, we select candidates in “partisan” primaries and general elections. Offices up for election in the Fall include local, state and federal offices in which candidates run with parties, including offices like U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative and President.

These elections are important because the people we elect make many decisions affecting us. We elect judges who interpret laws and preside over trials or appeals. Legislators decide how much money will support the services we need and what other policies apply to us. Elected officials also can make and enforce laws and resolve disputes affecting nearly every aspect of our lives.

Rev. Feb. 2017