By Senator, Lena C. Taylor
The signs of fall are hard to miss; the beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows of changing leaves, the brisk breeze off Lake Michigan, and the especially anticipation for the election. On November 6, we will come face to face with an important opportunity to fight suppression and exercise our inalienable Constitutional right to vote.
From the national Presidential campaign down to the local Assembly district, every race presents a chance for voters to let their voice be heard. Every – I said every – vote counts.
To fight for employment, education, healthcare, neighborhood safety, equal pay or equal rights, your voice counts! Here’s what you need to know to make yourself heard.
Register to vote Between October 17 and November 2, you can register to vote at the Municipal Clerk’s office. To register, you must provide proof of residence. Wisconsin also offers same day registration at your polling place, but you MUST bring proof of residence.
To prove residence, bring a Wisconsin Driver License, a Wisconsin ID Card, a tax bill, a telephone service statement, a bank statement or a paycheck. For a longer list, please call your Municipal Clerk (contact information can be found at (myvote.wi.gov) or the Government Accountability Board (gab.wi.gov/voters). Remember that you CANNOT register the Saturday, Sunday, or Monday before the Election, so you MUST register before November 2 or wait until Election Day.
Voting in-person, or absentee, or “In-person absentee”
Once you are registered, you may exercise your right to vote! Voting can either be done in-person on Election Day, or by absentee ballot. You can find your assigned polling place at myvote.wi.gov using either your name or address. If you wish to vote absentee, you must mail a request for an absentee ballot by November 1 at the Municipal Clerk’s office (the form can be found at (http://gab.wi.gov/forms/gab-121-english). The mail-in absentee ballot must be postmarked no later than November 6.
“In-person absentee” voting occurs begins October 22 and ends November 2. This is a confusing term, but all really it means voting early. Any eligible Wisconsin elector may vote “in-person absentee”, and can this can be a convenient way to cast your vote prior to Election Day and get the matter off your mind. In fact, I’ve already cast my vote so that on Election Day, I can focus on getting my friends and neighbors to the polls. Of course, remember that you cannot vote both early and on Election Day!
On Election Day, make sure you are registered to vote or have the proper proof of residence documents to vote at your assigned polling place between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., and sign in the poll book. If you are in line by 8 PM, you are guaranteed the right to vote. Insist on your rights, and don’t allow yourself to be intimidated!
This upcoming election is a pivotal moment for citizens across this nation. We have this occasion to select the representatives who will either lead us forward or bring us back to a world none of us want to see again.
Raise up your voice and vote!