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Online and by-mail voter registration deadline is Wednesday

Online and by-mail voter registration deadline is Wednesday

  • Updated
Voter registration

Fred Sommer helps Kallie Chen register to vote in Madison in August.

Voters in Wisconsin have until Wednesday to register to vote online or by mail if they don’t want to register in person for the upcoming presidential election.

Wisconsinites must be registered in order to vote, and the Wisconsin Elections Commission is reminding voters that those who want to do so remotely due to the pandemic or for other reasons have until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday to register online through the state’s voter-registration system,, while mailed applications must be postmarked by Wednesday.

The deadlines come as an unprecedented 1.4 million Wisconsinites have already requested absentee ballots; that’s about 38% of Wisconsin’s 3.6 million registered voters. As of Tuesday, 717,164 ballots had been returned, or about 51% of those requested.

The three counties with the most voters requesting absentee ballots are Milwaukee, with 232,587; Dane County, with 200,139; and Waukesha, with 114,545. Dane currently leads all other counties in the number of ballots returned: 122,830 as of Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Julietta Henry, Milwaukee County elections director, said she doesn’t expect Milwaukee County to finish reporting absentee ballot results until between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. the morning after Election Day, given the unprecedented number of absentee ballots.

To register online, voters need a Wisconsin driver’s license or state ID card and their current address on file with the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles.

Voters without one of those forms of ID can still begin the registration process by filling out a form online, but they will need to print out the form and take it to their municipal clerk’s office with a proof-of-residence document, such as a bank statement, utility bill, cell phone bill, tax bill or correspondence from a unit of government.

Voter registration forms are also available on the WEC’s website and in Spanish.

After Wednesday’s online and by-mail voter registration deadlines pass, voters still have options. Wisconsin offers same-day registration at the polls on Election Day, and from Oct. 15 to Oct. 30, Wisconsinites can register in-person at their municipal clerk’s office. Beginning Oct. 20, Wisconsinites have the option of registering and voting at satellite, in-person absentee voting locations if their local municipal clerks offer them.

The city of Madison plans to offer a variety of such in-person, absentee voting locations on the UW-Madison, Edgewood College and Madison College campuses and at city libraries.

Those who plan to register to vote at the polls on Election Day can update their addresses and names but must bring proof of residence.

Photos: Women won right to vote 100 years ago, and Wisconsin had starring role

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