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Top five things voters should know about Primary Election

1. Voter ID rules are in effect, and remain the same as they were during the Presidential Primary in April.

“There are no changes to Wisconsin’s election laws for Tuesday’s primary,” said Michael Haas, interim administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.  “You will need to show an acceptable photo ID to vote.”

Haas said most voters already have the photo ID they need to vote, such as a Wisconsin Driver License or ID, and urged anyone with questions to visit the Bring It to the Ballot website (http://bringit.wi.gov) or call 1-866-VOTE-WIS for information.  A voter who does not have an acceptable photo ID must be offered a provisional ballot and the opportunity to submit a photo ID within three days after the election. An acceptable photo ID for voting does not need to show the voter’s current address. 

Haas noted that two recent federal court decisions regarding Wisconsin’s election laws do not apply to Tuesday’s Partisan Primary.  The state will be prepared to implement court-ordered changes for the November Presidential Election, subject to appeals.

2. Voters may only vote for candidates of one party in the primary.

“If you vote for candidates in more than one party, your ballot will be rejected,” Haas said. “But if you make a mistake when voting, you may ask for a new paper ballot, up to a total of three.”

Hass noted that there is some confusion about the “party preference” section at the top of the ballot.  “If you select a party preference, it ensures that your votes are counted for that party’s candidates if you accidentally vote for a candidate in another party.”

Tanya Reigel, City of New Richmond clerk, helps a voter at the Spring Primary Election held in April. (Raymond T. Rivard photo)3. Voters can find their polling place on the mobile-friendly MyVote Wisconsin website.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has relaunched its popular MyVote Wisconsin website,http://myvote.wi.gov, which is now easier to use and mobile-friendly.  The website contains maps to every polling place in the state, as well as information about what will be on voters’ ballots when they get there.

Voters can also check whether their registration is current.  If it’s not, they can start the voter registration process online.

4. Leave political items at home.

Voters are asked not to wear political clothing or paraphernalia to the polling place on Election Day.  The chief election inspector may ask voters to leave the polling place if they are judged to be electioneering or creating a disturbance.

5. Consider becoming a poll worker.

Many Wisconsin cities, villages and towns need more civic-minded people to help out on Election Day, especially for the November presidential election. When you go to vote, take a look around to see if it’s something you’d like to do. Many places offer split shifts if you can’t work the entire day. Contact your local municipal clerk’s office for more information.

Other Basics:

  • Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 9.
  • Eligible voters can register at the polls on Election Day if they have a proof-of-residence document with a current address.  For details, check out the Voter Registration Guide: http://www.gab.wi.gov/node/2554.
  • Primary turnout is projected to be 16 percent of voting-age adults, compared to about 70 percent in a typical November presidential election.
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