Notice: On Tuesday, March 6, 2012, in one of the two lawsuits in Dane County Circuit Court against the voter ID law, a Dane County judge ordered the Governor and the Government Accountability Board to “cease immediately any effort to enforce or implement the photo identification requirements” of the law.This means that at the present time it appears Wisconsin residents who are eligible to vote will not be required to produce photo identification at the upcoming election on November 6, 2012. This website will be updated if any changes occur that will require photo identification. The judge’s order is subject to appeal and UW institutions will continue to provide voter ID compliant student ID cards and enrollment verifications to students who request them. As further information becomes available, updates will be provided on this website.
Are you ready to vote?
Beginning with the spring primary elections in February 2012, in addition to meeting existing requirements Wisconsin voters will need to present an acceptable form of photo identification at the polling place in order to be able to vote. Thus, in order to be able to vote in Wisconsin, voters must meet the following requirements:
- Register to vote in advance of the election or on election day;
- Provide valid photo ID; and
- Establish proof of residence in the district in which you seek to vote.
Each of these requirements will be discussed in detail below.
What are the voting requirements and how do I fulfill them? Top of Page
If you have not previously voted in Wisconsin, or if you have moved since you last voted in Wisconsin, getting registered is the first step.
- Prior to Election Day, you may register by mail up to 20 days before the election. Complete the Wisconsin Voter Registration Application and mail to your municipal clerk. If you are a first time voter in the State of Wisconsin, you will also need to show proof of residence.
- You may register in person at the municipal clerk’s office until the Friday before the election. If it is less than 20 days before the election, you must provide proof of residence.
- On Election Day, you may register at the polls; however, you will be required to show both an acceptable photo id and proof of residence.
Most UW-Milwaukee students will already have an acceptable photo ID, which may be any of the following:
- A valid Wisconsin driver license or identification card
- Military ID
- A U.S. passport
- A certificate of naturalization issued not earlier than two years before the date of the election at which it is presented
- An identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin
If you are a currently enrolled UWM student but do not already have one of the acceptable forms of photo ID and plan to cast your ballot in Wisconsin, UW-Milwaukee can assist you. We are prepared to issue students who need them a UWM Voter ID card which is compliant with the new law. The UWM Voter ID card is separate from your current UWM campus ID card. Please note that the current UWM campus ID card does not fulfill the requirements of the law and will not be accepted for voting purposes.
UWM will also make available, via your PAWS account, a Voter ID Enrollment Verification Letter which you may print out for yourself to provide proof of enrollment and/or to verify your address. This document is required if you will be using the UWM Voter ID as your identification on election day. This document may also be used to verify your current, local address if you are using some other form of ID that does not show your current address. (More on that below.)
The separate UWM voter ID are available, free of charge by going to the Registrar's Office Information Center in Mellencamp Hall room 274 to obtain your UWM Voter ID. Call 414-229-3800 or go to https://www4.uwm.edu/des/Help/ for office hours.
Proof of residence is required if you are
- a first time registrant in Wisconsin and if you are registering by mail,
- registering in the clerk’s office less than 20 days before the election,
- registering at the polls on Election Day.
Proof of residence documents must include the voter’s current address. The following items are acceptable to prove Wisconsin residency for voter registration purposes:
- A current and valid Wisconsin driver license or identification card or any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit. NOTE: Your driver’s license must have your current, local address in order to qualify. If your driver’s license lists an address other than your current, local address, this item will not work as proof of residence.
- The UWM Voter ID Enrollment Letter, as long as it lists your current, local (mailing) address. (If necessary, before printing the document, be sure to update your mailing address on PAWS to reflect your local address).
- Employer issued ID card with cardholder photo and your current address
- A real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year which shows your current address
- A recent (within 90 days of voter registration) gas, electric, or telephone service statement (utility bill) with current address
- Bank statement with current address.
- Paycheck with current address.
- Residential lease. (Not valid if registering by mail.)
The UWM Voter ID Enrollment Verification Letter is available via PAWS and can be accessed 24/7 via Student Self-Service from any computer or device. To access your UWM Voter ID Enrollment Verification Letter, log on to your PAWS account. First confirm that your mailing address reflects your local/current address while attending UW-Milwaukee. If it is not, go to the “Personal Information” section, update and save your mailing address. Then,in the same “Personal Information” section, click on the Voter ID Enrollment Letter link. Click to generate and print your letter.
Expectations on Election DayTop of Page
- Make sure you know where your polling place is located. Go to https://vpa.wi.gov/ for assistance with this.
- Remember to bring acceptable photo ID to the polling place. You might want to bring along proof of local residence documents (such as the UWM Voter ID Enrollment Letter) just in case you need to register at the polls.
- You will be asked to sign the poll list.
- Be proud to exercise your right to vote.
Frequently Asked QuestionsTop of Page
More FAQs are being added to the Government Accountability Board’s (GAB) website as new issues arise: http://gab.wi.gov/taxonomy/term/135
- I live in University Housing. Where is my polling location?
Cambridge Commons: Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E. Park Place
Kenilworth Square Apartments: East Library, 1910 E. North Avenue
Purin Hall: Plymouth Church, 2717 E. Hampshire Street
RiverView Residence Hall: Gordon Park Pavillion, 1321 E. Locust Street
Sandburg Halls: Sandburg Halls, 3400 N. Maryland Avenue
- If I have a valid Wisconsin driver’s license, what else do I need to vote?
A.If you have a valid driver’s license, have already registered to vote and are voting in the same location, you are all set.
B. If you have a valid driver’s license but have NOT registered to vote, then you will need to register before you will be able to vote. See the register to vote section for more details. First time registrants in Wisconsin will need to provide proof of residence, which can be done with the UWM Voter ID Enrollment Letter available through your PAWS account. You may use other documents as proof of residence as well, including, but not limited to: a property tax bill, residential lease, utility bill (no more than 90 days old), bank statement, or paycheck.
- How do I get a free photo ID acceptable for voting?
The Department of Transportation (DOT) will provide free ID cards for the purpose of voting if you will be at least 18 years of age on the date of the next election. (The regular fee is $28.) Please keep in mind that you will need to provide a birth certificate and other documents to receive a DOT-issued ID. Therefore, plan to start this process well in advance of Election Day. For information about getting a state identification card, please visit the DOT's website: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/drivers/apply/idcard.htm
You may obtain a Special UWM Voter ID card in Mellencamp Hall, room 274. Your identity and student status will be verified. Please bring another form of photo identification. Call 414-229-3800 or go to https://www4.uwm.edu/des/Help/ for office hours.
- If I’m using the UWM Voter ID card, what else do I need to do to be ready to vote?
In addition to the UWM-issued Voter ID card, you must establish that you are currently enrolled in classes. Through your PAWS account, you may print a Voter ID Enrollment Letter which verifies your current address and current enrollment status at UW-Milwaukee.
- How do I access the UWM Voter ID Enrollment letter?
After you log into your PAWS account, first confirm that your mailing address reflects your local/current address while attending UW-Milwaukee. Then scroll down to the “Personal Information” section and click on the Voter ID Enrollment Letter. Click to generate and print your Voter ID Enrollment letter.
- What if I am not enrolled on the date of the election?
The UWM Voter ID Card is an acceptable form of photo ID ONLY for students who are enrolled on the date of the election. So, your other option is obtain a state-issued photo ID card from your local DMV. However, your UWM Voter ID Enrollment Letter may still be used to show proof of local, current address.
- Can my UWM Voter ID card serve as my UWM campus ID card?
No. Access to campus services, like your housing meal plan, the Klotsche Center or library, are only available with the Panther card. The UWM Voter ID card is for voting purposes only.
- Do I have to use the special UWM Voter ID card to vote?
No. You just need to show an acceptable form of photo ID.
- How will the poll workers know what documents I need to present in order to vote?
UW-Milwaukee has provided samples of the UWM-issued Voter ID card and the Voter ID Enrollment Letter to the Government Accountability Board (GAB). It is UWM’s understanding that the GAB will familiarize the poll workers with these documents.. The GAB maintains this phone number for additional questions: 1-866-VOTE-WIS.
- What if I forget my ID on Election Day? What can I do?
You are allowed to vote by provisional ballot. You can bring your photo ID to the polling place later that day. You may also present your photo ID to the municipal clerk by 4 p.m. on the third day after Election Day (Friday). If you don’t provide a photo ID by the deadline, your ballot will not count.