How to Vote in Wisconsin’s 2024 Elections

Posted on 05/16/24 by Maura Kelly Lannan

En español

Important dates and election information

Key dates

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  • State primary: Tuesday, Aug. 13 
  • General election: Tuesday, Nov. 5 

Voting at a glance

  • Voter registration: Use the state’s voter information portal to check your registration status and update your address. Voters can register to vote on Election Day for the state primary.
  • Voting at the polls: Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., but you can still vote after 8 p.m. if you are in line before polls close. Voters must show an acceptable photo ID to cast their ballots at the polls.

Voting in Wisconsin


What to know about recent voting changes

Court rulings have made changes to voting procedures:

  • A 2022 state Supreme Court ruling prohibits the use of drop boxes except in clerk’s offices, but the court may reconsider that decision as part of another case that is pending appeal.
  • Voters with disabilities are permitted to get help returning their absentee ballots.
  • Municipal clerks may no longer fix missing or incomplete addresses on return absentee ballot envelopes.

Also, the state Legislature and governor reached a bipartisan agreement on new state legislative district maps after the Wisconsin Supreme Court found the old maps unconstitutional. The new maps, which go into effect in November, were signed into law in February.

Voter registration


Register to vote by mail, in person or online:

  • In person: Drop off a completed voter registration form or register in person at your municipal clerk’s office. Hours and availability depend on individual localities. You will need to show a copy of a document that proves your Wisconsin residence such as a driver’s license or recent utility bill.
  • Online: Use the state’s voter registration portal to register or update your voter information. You will need a valid Wisconsin driver’s license or state-issued ID card.

The deadline to register online or by mail is Wednesday, July 24, for the state primary.

The deadline to register in person to vote is Friday, Aug. 9, for the state primary.

Registering to vote on Election Day

You can register to vote at your polling place on Election Day for the state primary. You must show a copy of a document that proves you live in Wisconsin such as a driver’s license or a recent utility bill. You then will need to show a valid photo ID, such as a Wisconsin driver’s license, a passport or another acceptable document, to receive a ballot and vote after registering on Election Day.

Primary voting and party affiliation

Voters do not need to register with a party to participate in its primary in Wisconsin, but they can only vote in one party’s primary. Voting in a party’s primary does not register a voter with that party.

Americans Head To The Polls To Vote In The 2022 Midterm Elections
A polling center in Madison, Wis.
Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

Ways to vote

Requesting an absentee ballot

Any registered voter can request a no-excuse absentee ballot. Voters also can request that an absentee ballot be sent to them for each future election by marking the “calendar year” option on the regular absentee ballot application.

  • By mail: Download and complete a ballot application and mail it to your municipal clerk’s office. Make sure you leave enough time for election officials to process your request and mail your ballot. A request must be received by your municipal clerk by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 8, for the state primary.
  • In person: Drop off a completed request form or fill one out at your municipal clerk’s office by the last day the clerk is offering in-person voting, which can vary. 

Returning your absentee ballot

Your ballot envelope will need to be signed by a witness before you can return it. Your witness should be an adult U.S. citizen and should provide their address as well as their signature. Return your ballot by mail or in person.

  • By mail: Completed ballots should be mailed to your municipal clerk’s office and must be received no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day for the state primary. It’s recommended to mail your completed ballot at least one week before Election Day for the state primary. Prepaid postage is provided.
  • In person: Drop off your completed ballot at your municipal clerk’s office or at your polling place by 8 p.m. on Election Day for the state primary.

Municipal clerks are prohibited from fixing missing or incomplete addresses on absentee ballot return envelopes. Clerks who find incomplete information may send the envelope back to the voter, and can send a new one if necessary, for the voter to correct. The corrected envelope and ballot must be returned to your clerk’s office by Election Day for the state primary.
Use the state’s voter portal to track the status of your absentee ballot.

Voting in person before Election Day

You can cast an absentee ballot in person at your municipal clerk’s office for the state primary. Schedules vary, so check with your city or town clerk or use the state's voting portal to find locations and hours. You will have to show a photo ID such as a Wisconsin driver’s license or other acceptable document.

Voting at the polls on Election Day

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can still vote after 8 p.m. if you are in line before polls close. Use the state’s voter information portal to find your polling place.

Voter ID requirements on Election Day

You will need to show an accepted photo ID, such as a Wisconsin driver’s license, a passport or another acceptable document specified by law.

Voting with a disability 

You can receive assistance from someone when completing your voter registration application or absentee ballot application. After completing the application, the person who helped you must sign the form in the appropriate box.

Voters who receive assistance while absentee voting must have the person who helps sign the absentee certificate envelope. Voters with a disability who need help returning their absentee ballots are entitled to receive assistance by a person of their choice, except for an employer or representative of the voter’s union.

Voters who can’t get to the polls because they are sick or have a disability can automatically receive absentee ballots for every future election until they do not return an absentee ballot or they indicate a change in status. Request this at myvote.wi.gov or by asking your municipal clerk in writing or through email.

Voters must sign a document called a poll list, which lists names and addresses of registered voters, when they check in at a polling place before receiving a ballot. A poll list has the names and addresses of registered voters in each reporting unit, which is made up of one or more wards. Those who aren’t able to sign because of a disability are exempt. Election inspectors will note the exemption and issue a ballot.

All polling places must have accessible voting machines and must comply with requests from voters who want to vote from their car. You also can request help with accessible voting equipment.

More information about candidates
Key races:

  • U.S. President
  • U.S. House: eight seats
  • U.S. Senate: one seat
  • State Assembly: 99 seats
  • State Senate: 16 seats

Sample ballots will be available at the Wisconsin Elections Commission website.

Editor’s note: This guide was originally published on Jan. 23, 2024, and has been updated with new information about voting in the 2024 elections.

Maura Kelly Lannan is a writer, editor and producer for AARP who covers federal and state policy. She has worked as a reporter for the Associated Press, the Chicago Tribune and the Waterbury, Connecticut, Republican-American. She also has written for Bloomberg Government, The Boston Globe and other publications. 

Also of Interest:

This story is provided by AARP Wisconsin. Visit the AARP Wisconsin page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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