How to vote in Wisconsin's 2024 presidential primary & spring general election
There are three more elections coming up in 2024 in Wisconsin:
- April 2: spring general election
- Aug. 13: fall primary election
- Nov. 5: fall general election
What options are there when it comes to registering to vote? What's the deadline to request an absentee ballot? WUWM 89.7 FM - Milwaukee's NPR put together a guide to help people in the next election, on April 2.
On April 2, Wisconsinites will elect candidates for local offices, vote on school referendums and state ballot measures. It is also Wisconsin's presidential preference vote.
All 15 Milwaukee Common Council seats and 18 Milwaukee County Board seats are up for election, along with Milwaukee mayor, county executive, city attorney and more. You can look up what will be on your ballot here.
Here are some important deadlines and information on how to register to vote, vote absentee and cast a ballot in person in Wisconsin:
Registering to vote
In Wisconsin, people can register to vote in the April 2 election online or by mail until March 13. After March 13, registering to vote must take place in person at your municipal clerk's office before March 29, or on election day at your voting site.
All voters must provide a proof of residence document when registering to vote by mail, in-person in the clerk’s office or at the polls on Election Day. Examples of proof of residence documents include a current drivers license or state ID, a utility bill, a paystub or a bank statement.
To register to vote online, a person's address and name must be current with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Addresses can be updated for free on the DMV’s website. Name changes cannot be completed online — that must be done in person at a DMV.
The next step is go to the MyVote Wisconsin website to complete the registration process.
To register to vote by mail, a voter registration application (Milwaukee's application is here) along with proof of residence must be sent to the municipal clerk. It must be postmarked no later than March 13.
In the City of Milwaukee, people can register to vote in person at a Milwaukee Public Library branch up to three weeks before election day. During early voting, people can register at any early voting location. Voter registration, including address changes, ends on Friday, March 29 at all early voting locations.
Important dates for registering to vote in Wisconsin:
- March 13: Last chance to register by mail or online. Visit myvote.wi.gov to register or find a person's municipal clerk’s address.
- March 29: Last chance to register to vote in municipal clerk’s office.
- March 19-29: Register to vote at an early voting location (Milwaukee locations here.)
- April 2: Election day. Register to vote at your polling place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
A person must be registered to vote to request an absentee ballot by mail. Once registered, a person can request their ballot online or by mail.
In the City of Milwaukee, here's how to request an absentee ballot by mail: Provide a copy of a photo ID either digitally or by mail and return the Application For an Absentee Ballot by email to email@example.com or by mail to the Milwaukee Election Commission, 200 E. Wells Street, Room 501, Milwaukee, WI 53202.
Request a ballot as early as possible. The U.S. Postal Service recommends mailing the ballot at least a week before the election.
In Milwaukee, absentee ballots can be returned at early voting locations during early voting.
Voters must return their own ballot unless they need assistance due to a disability.
A Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling barred use of absentee ballot drop boxes, unless placed in election offices. Voters wishing to return ballots in-person should do so at an early voting site.
Absentee ballots include the requirement for a witness signature from a U.S. citizen 18 years or older. The witness must print their name, sign their name and provide their complete address on the certificate envelope.
If you don't have a witness, you can bring your blank ballot to any of the early voting locations in the city of Milwaukee to fill it out.
Important dates for absentee voting in Wisconsin:
- March 28: Last day to request an absentee ballot. Applications for absentee ballots must be received no later than 5 p.m. Waiting until this day doesn't guarantee an absentee ballot will arrive with enough time to return it by election day.
- April 2: Election day. Ballot must be received by municipal clerk no later than 8 p.m.
Voting in person
You can vote in-person on election day, April 2 at your polling place.
You cannot use an out-of-state ID to vote. Acceptable IDs include a Wisconsin state ID or driver's license, a U.S. passport, or a student voter ID from your college or university.
If your ID doesn't have your current address, you will need to bring documentation to show you live where you say you live — something like a utility bill.
If you go to vote and don't have an acceptable ID, you can cast a provisional ballot. You will then need to bring a valid ID to your clerk's office for your ballot to be counted.
Early in-person voting is available March 19-31. Dates may vary depending on the municipality. Voters must bring a valid photo ID. Check with local municipality for locations and schedule. Your polling place may not host early voting.
The Milwaukee early voting locations are:
- Zeidler Municipal Building
- Capitol Drive Voting Center (Replaces Midtown Center site that was closed.)
- Zablocki Library
- Washington Park Library
- Tippecanoe Library
- Good Hope Library
- UW-Milwaukee Zelazo Center
- MATC T-Building
These locations may change. Make sure to check the hours for each voting site.
You must bring a valid photo ID to vote.
Important dates for voting in person in Wisconsin:
- March 19 First day of in-person early voting.
- March 31: Last day of in-person early voting.
- April 2: Spring primary election day.
Not sure where to vote on election day? Look up your polling place here.
Additional resources & information
Souls to the Polls provides free rides to Milwaukee votersduring early voting and on election day.
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin has information for voters in Hmong and Spanish.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission offers a resource guide for unhoused voters.
What questions do you have about voting in Wisconsin? Complete our election survey.
Thanks to former WUWM staff Rafael Muñoz-Echavarria and Mallory Cheng for the 2023 version of this story.