Election season has returned, so get ready to vote.
On-campus early voting is next week for Wisconsin’s Feb. 16 spring primary election, which will narrow down the top two candidates for municipal and county offices, as well as the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. That position has direct oversight of all Wisconsin Public Schools, and becomes an ex-officio member of the UW System Board of Regents. Voters will choose the winner for each seat in the April 6 election.
Voting early is convenient and easy. In-person absentee voting (and registration) will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 8 to 12 at Memorial Union for city of Madison residents. It’s also available at other locations in Madison. Remember to wear a face covering.
“These spring state and local elections are often overlooked, but they are so important,” said Kathy Cramer, a political science professor who is co-chair of the Badgers Voter Coalition. “Each vote counts in these races. Also, the policies set at this level of government directly affect our lives.”
If you are voting in Wisconsin, here are a few important things to note:
- Make sure you’re registered at your current address. Check https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/RegisterToVote. If you haven’t registered yet or were registered to a previous address for the last election, you can do so during in-person-absentee voting or at the polls. You can find a list of what to bring at vote.wisc.edu.
- Bring the correct ID. Your student ID is not valid for voting. Valid forms of ID include a Wisconsin’s driver’s license, U.S. passport, or a free campus-issued voter ID card.
- If you need a campus-issued voter ID card you can access your Voter ID Card here. The ID is also available at print stations at campus early voting locations and on election day. Additionally, they are available at the Wiscard office at Union South. This card can still be used even if it is past the expiration date listed on the card. However, you’ll need to show verification of enrollment from the Student Center with the expired ID. From your phone, go to wisc.edu/verify.
- Making an informed decision is important. You can find out what will appear on your ballot here. Additionally, you can view a recorded nonpartisan candidate forum for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Candidates here and a summary of that forum here.
- A green/access granted Badger Badge is encouraged but not required for entrance to the Spring 2021 elections polling sites. We encourage voters to wear a mask and follow other public health guidance.
- To request an absentee ballot by mail or online, visit wi.gov. Fill out and return your ballot as soon as possible – the City Clerk must receive it by Election Day, Feb. 16.
- On Election Day, 16, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Where you vote is based on where you live. Whether you live on or off campus, you can find your polling place here. Please note the location may have changed compared to the November 2020 election.
- All of the information you need is available at http://vote.wisc.edu.
Voting in your home state
We know some students may be attending UW but choose to vote in their home states. Check with your local municipal clerk for info on whether and when elections are taking place. Keep in mind that there are gubernatorial and congressional elections taking place in some locations in 2021.
Stay up to date by following @BadgersVote on social media and opt in for alerts simply text the word BadgersVote to the number 56525.