“Polls will be open in West Bend for those who need them on Election Day, but voters are strongly encouraged to vote absentee for this election,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “For that to happen, you should request an absentee ballot as soon as possible.”
Acting by Wednesday, March 18, is especially important for anyone who needs to register to vote by mail, City Clerk Stephanie Justmann said. If your name or address has changed since the last election, you need to register with your current information. You can check your registration status at https://myvote.wi.gov, click on “My Voter Info.”
If you know you are registered but cannot find yourself on the website, you should contact your clerk or Wisconsin Elections Commission. There is possibly a typo in the spelling of your name or your date of birth. Voters who cannot find themselves on MyVote should call their municipal clerk’s office at 262-335-5100 or call the Wisconsin Elections Commission at 866-VOTE-WIS (866-868-3947) or 608-261-8005.
How to Register to Vote by the Deadline
Wednesday, March 18 is the deadline for electors to register to vote by mail or online for the Presidential Preference Primary and Spring Election. Online registration closes at 11:59 p.m. After this date, electors must register in person in the municipal clerk's office or at the polling place on Election Day.
Online voter registration is available at https://myvote.wi.gov. There are two ways you can register using the website:
- People with a Wisconsin driver license or state ID card whose address is current with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation can complete their online registration immediately. People who need to update their address with DOT can accomplish that online and complete their online registration.
- People without a Wisconsin driver license or state ID card can fill out the voter registration form online, then print it, sign it and mail it to their municipal clerk’s office along with a proof-of residence document. The website has detailed instructions. Voter registration forms that can be printed and filled out by hand are also available here in English: https://elections.wi.gov/forms/el-131-fillable
Voter registration forms that can be printed and filled out by hand are also available here in Spanish: https://elections.wi.gov/forms/el-131-spanish
Blank voter registration forms are also available at the clerk’s office, 1115 S. Main Street, during these hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (excluding holidays).
Remember, the deadline to register online or by mail is Wednesday, March 18. Voters who miss the deadline may also register in their municipal clerk’s office until the Friday before the election, April 3 or at the polls on Election Day.
How to Request an Absentee Ballot
There are several ways registered voters can request absentee ballots. If they have internet access, the easiest way is to sign up at MyVote Wisconsin, https://myvote.wi.gov.
Just look for the “Vote Absentee” button near the top of the page. On a mobile phone, use the menu button in the upper right corner of the website. There is a three-step process that starts with putting in your name and date of birth, followed by requesting your ballot. If you don’t already have a photo ID on file with your clerk’s office, you can upload a copy. Mobile phone users can take a picture and upload it to MyVote. Absentee ballot requests submitted this way go directly to your clerk’s office, and you can track your ballot by returning to the website.
Voters can also request absentee ballots by mailing, emailing or faxing their municipal clerk’s office. You can find your clerk’s contact information on MyVote Wisconsin. These requests must be accompanied by a copy of your photo ID. If you already have a photo ID on file from previous absentee requests under your current registration, you will not need to provide it again.
Voters who are indefinitely confined, meaning they may have difficulty getting to the polls for reason of age, illness, infirmity, or disability are not required to provide a photo ID. Voters in care facilities can have a representative of the facility confirm the resident's identity instead of providing a photo ID. More information on photo ID and exemptions can be found at bringit.wi.gov.
The deadline for registered voters to request an absentee ballot be mailed to you is the Thursday before the election, April 2. However, Justmann urges voters not to wait, due to possible delays in mail delivery. If you get an absentee ballot mailed to you, you can still decide to vote at the polls on Election Day if you haven’t returned it.
Your absentee ballot must be received in your clerk’s office or at your polling place by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Again, Justmann urges voters to request and return ballots as soon as possible.