For any full-time worker with extra family responsibilities, caring about the election is one thing – but turning up on election day may be a completely different issue. Business trips, illnesses, and family emergencies can all make it impossible to stand in line to cast your vote on Tuesday, April 4, 2023.
If despite all these difficulties, you were still able to talk to your relatives or local church group about the importance of voting, then you’ve done a world of good already. But the door is still open for you to cast your vote by mail.
Can I Vote with an Absentee Ballot in Wisconsin?
When we talk with local heads of family, and we touch upon the possibility of using an absentee ballot, the first thing we hear about is whether they qualify for it. After all, “absentee ballots” are for those who will be fully absent, right? So unless you can provide a good reason for being busy on the election date, or you’re serving your country far away, absentee voting is a no-go, true?
In reality, this is far from true. The State of Wisconsin doesn’t require you to provide any justification for using an absentee ballot. If you are registered to vote, then you can request an absentee ballot by mail.
The main catch? You need to do it on time – up to the Thursday before the election. This time around, the deadline is on March 30, 2023 at 5 PM. But we urge you to do this well before this deadline!
3 Steps To Exercise Your Right of Absentee Voting
If you are interested in absentee voting by mail, just follow these simple steps.
1. Register to vote (or check if you’re registered)
The main requirement for an absentee ballot is to be registered in the first place. If you don’t remember whether you’re registered, visit Wisconsin’s official Voting Portal and use the Search function.
If you can’t find yourself when voting, you will be automatically redirected to the voter registration page.
2. Send an application
Once you’re certain you’re registered to vote, you’ll have two different options:
- Visit the MyVote portal and fill out an online application
- E-mail, mail or fax an application to your municipal clerk (which you can look up here).
Whichever way you choose, you will need to include your full, legal name, your voting address, the election for which you would like a ballot, and your mailing address, as well as a copy of your photo ID.
If you are an active member of the military or are registered as “permanently overseas” you won’t need to provide a photo ID. If you live in a nursing home or are permanently confined, and you don’t have an ID with you, you can ask a witness to verify your identity instead.
3. Mail your ballot in time
No matter which way you choose, you will then need to ensure you mail your ballot in time. Here, we have a rather hard deadline in place: the ballot needs to arrive at your municipal clerk’s office no later than 8 PM on the day of the election. That’s Tuesday, April 4 for this election.
Here, it’s best to play it safe. Although the USPS will be working overtime to ensure all ballots arrive on time, they recommend you send it at least one week before the deadline. That means you should have that ballot in the mail by Tuesday, March 28.
What if I want to vote in person anyway?
Plans change, and these days not everyone trusts their local Post Office. If you requested an absentee ballot already but would prefer to vote in person, you may:
- Drop it off in person at the municipal clerk’s office before the election date. Just make sure to check their opening hours and bring a photo ID.
- Show up at the polls anyway on the election date. In this case, bring the ballot you received with you: do not mail it, and do not give it to anyone else.
There Are Multiple Ways to Fulfill Your Civic Duty & Your Duty to God
As part of our country’s commitment to freedom, Wisconsin voters are provided with several ways to vote (absentee by mail, early in-person, Election Day). Paperwork and bureaucracy are kept at a minimum–but it’s up to you to start the process.
Remember that, at the end of the day, the process is worth it. You will be getting a unique chance to influence the society you live in. After all, God entrusted this land to us, and as its stewards, we have a responsibility to improve it and to vote and vote wisely for those who will govern us.