How to Vote in Wisconsin

A quick guide on how to vote in the Badger state.

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In 2016 Hillary Clinton (whom I loathe and wish had lost to Bernie Sanders in the primaries) narrowly lost Wisconsin by only 22,748 votes. Of the nearly 4.5 million eligible voters in the state, only 3 million cast a vote.

That means that Democrats registering only 30,000 more voters could have helped swing the fate of the nation in a completely different direction (with help in other key states) away from the hate-filled rhetoric and dumbing down of our nation we are currently seeing thanks to Donald Jackass Trump.

If you look at the table below poor attendance for the elections is as Wisconsonian as cheddar cheese and green jerseys. If Democrats and those who believe in progressive ideas hope to win future election, we will have to make an effort to change this trend by registering more like-minded voters.

Year Voting Age Population General Elections Votes General Election Turnout
2016 4,461,068 3,004,051 67.34%
2014 4,416,501 2,422,040 54.84%
2012 4,378,741 3,071,434 70.14%
2010 4,372,347 2,171,331 49.66%
2008 4,330,695 2,996,869 69.20%

Due to all these facts, I have created a quick and easy guide on how to vote in the state of Wisconsin that you can share with anyone you know who lives in Wisconsin and is not registered to vote. Enjoy!

 

Who can vote in Wisconsin?

  • Must have photo I.D. to vote
    (Wisconsin Photo ID Information)
  • 18 years old by the date of the next election
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must live at current address for at least 10 days before the election

Who can’t vote in Wisconsin?

  • Felons cannot vote, but can vote again when their rights are restored
  • If a judge has determined you incompetent to vote you cannot vote
  • If you have placed a bet on the outcome of the election you cannot vote
  • You cannot vote twice in the same election

 

How to register to vote in Wisconsin:

The Wisconsin voter registration website (MyVote Wisconsin) is easily the best voter registration site I have seen so far.

It allows you to see if you are already registered to vote and easily register if you are not. It also allows you to check what issues will be on your ballot, update your address, and request absentee ballots among many other options.

myvote wisconsin

If you prefer mailing your registration in you can do that as well but you will have to print out the form and make sure you mail it to the address of your local municipal clerk which you can locate at myvote.wi.gov.

You can download the voter registration application here:
Wisconsin Voter Registration Form

Proof of residency will be required if you mail in your voter registration, register in person at the municipal clerk’s office, or register on the day of the election. Generally a photocopy of a utility bill or ID will work for this. Since you need an ID to vote in Wisconsin you may as well just take a copy of that if you have one or begin getting yours to provide as proof of residency. You are also able to get a free voter ID in Wisconsin if you go to your local DMV and apply for one.

wisconsin proof of id

Proof of residency requirements can be found here:
Wisconsin Proof of Residency Requirements

Information on how to obtain a free Voter ID or other ID in the state of Wisconsin can be found at the website for the Wisconsin DMV here:
Wisconsin Photo Identification Information

 

How to Vote in Wisconsin

In order to vote in person all you need to do is find your local polling place to vote at and bring your ID on the day of the election.

To find your local polling place go here:
Wisconsin Polling Locations

You can also request an absentee ballot and vote by mail if you are registered to vote already through the MyVote Wisconsin website. You will need to have your absentee ballot in the mail by 8:00pm on the day of election day but it is better to do it sooner than later so the rest of us don’t have to stay up as late on election night waiting for the absentee ballots to keep being counted.

To request an absentee ballot go here:
Wisconsin Absentee Ballot Info

 

Review:

Overall, I am really impressed with how Wisconsin runs their voter registration process. Voting identification is also provided for free so long as you make a trip to the DMV and go through the waiting in line it takes to get it, so it does not seem that ID is being used as a poll tax.

Wisconsin offers so many services and information online that I don’t even have to do that much research trying to figure out how to communicate how to vote in the Badger state. For a state that voted Republican and is led by Paul Ryan I’m actually shocked that they have made it so easy to vote given the general trend of Republicans limiting voting access to their constituents.

Please share this with any and all people you know who are living in Wisconsin so they can either register to vote or share the information with people who can register to vote. Together we can make a difference, we just have to actually act.

American Nonviolent Coordinating Comittee

Dear [Insert Name Here],

I, Ryan Chaichi, am writing to you on behalf of the American Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (ANCC) to seek your help in registering voters who believe in Democratic ideals before the 2020 election.

The 2016 Presidential election was decided by less than 120,000 votes in the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Since the 2016 election, Republicans have cut education and research funding, passed discriminatory legislation, cut healthcare funding, and quite frankly embarrassed our country on the world stage.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. We cannot let this continue in 2020, or the 2018 midterm elections for that matter.

Democratic voters were not motivated or educated enough to vote in the swing states which lost to Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Many people also did not know about voter registration deadlines or how or when to vote. We must inspire young voters to vote and we must teach them how to get out and vote in 2018 and 2020.

Only approximately 58% of eligible voters cast a ballot in the 2016 Presidential election. That means there is a lot of room to find votes for 2018 and 2020. If we do not act today to register and educate voters in key areas before the next Presidential election Democrats may be risking another loss by razor-thin margins.

In order to prevent another Republican Presidential victory in 2020, Democrats who live in areas that have an excess of Democratic voters need to invest time and resources into travelling to battleground states to educate and register voters.

The goal of the ANCC is to register enough voters in swing states to avoid handing the Republicans another Presidential victory in 2020. The ANCC will travel to register voters in swing states for the 2018 and 2020 elections in hopes that we can put more Democrats into public office. We will raise money to fund voter registration and education drives and hopefully inspire and fund others to do the same.

The ANCC’s ultimate goal is to move groups of volunteers from Democratic strongholds (Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, etc…) to areas where Democratic candidates need help in the form of educating and registering voters who believe in equal rights for all Americans. However, people cannot easily pack up and leave our homes while we struggle to make our bills and keep a roof over our heads. That’s where the ANCC comes in. We will raise money to pay for lodging and food for volunteers. If we can, we will also pay for transportation.

We need to invest resources in funding voter registration drives and educating American voters.

More importantly: we need to do it now.

The values that America will be fighting for tomorrow are being determined today. We must stand up as liberals and Democrats and return to our roots of actively fighting for equal rights through voter registration and education.

Many Americans have endured unfathomable discrimination and violence just for the right to vote. We must validate the sacrifices that those pioneers before us made and march valiantly to polling stations and vote in 2018 and 2020 with new voters beside us.

I am not asking you for money. I am asking that you invest time and resources into educating voters in your district because Democrats and liberal ideals cannot win an election on rhetoric alone. We saw how rhetoric failed firsthand in the 2016 election and we are seeing the consequences unravel as Trump squanders America’s future. We must nonviolently fight as Americans to vote in our future instead of stand on the sidelines and watching as our rights are stripped from us under Republican rule.

As the founder of the ANCC, I am going to personally demonstrate the mission of the ANCC by road-tripping across America and registering voters. As a Lyft driver my job is nearly as mobile as I am, so I will put my preaching to practice while I work my way across the nation. I will also be trying to recruit like-minded individuals to do the same.

As an individual I will do everything I can to raise money and travel on my free time to register voters and spread the message of the ANCC, but what I can do is limited because I am only a single individual. I need your help. The ANCC needs your help. America needs your help.

Sincerely,

Ryan Chaichi
American Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Peaceful Protests & Voter Registration, Please

On January 16th, 2017, America celebrated Martin Luther King Day. A day in remembrance of a Civil Rights icon who stood up in the face of everything thrown at him to resist peacfully and change the system in any way he could. A day in remembrance of the struggle Dr. King gave his life for. He believed in the future of this country. He had a dream that we could all live side-by-side with equal rights and protections as Americans. Dr. King endured opposition that today’s protestors will never know in comparison to what the Civil Rights Movement endured, and yet today’s protestors feel a need to act out in violence to change the system.

On January 20th, 2017, we watched Donald J. Trump get sworn into office and protesters turn violent in Washington DC. I agree Trump is not qualified to be the President, but the Civil Rights Movement built itself on the backs of peaceful resistance. Breaking windows of a Starbucks that isn’t the neighborhood one you visit isn’t going to solve anything. You wouldn’t do that to the Starbucks you go to down the street from your house or the bank you cash your checks at in your neighborhood. Your outrage doesn’t make it okay to destroy others’ property or harm people who think differently from you.

Hell, most of the people affected by the damage done during protests are the minimum wage workers that oppose Trump also and are just doing their jobs while you break the window panes of their workplaces in the deepest depths of winter, ushering in freezing winds and scaring innocent people. I find it incredibly distressing that this concept of nonviolent protests needs to be explained to my fellow liberals.

If you claim it is only a few individuals causing violence but you’re standing there witnessing it in person and not speaking out, you are complicit. To any liberals who are passively watching the damage unphased or reveling in joy: it is your duty as a liberal to stand up against violent protests to prevent these acts from damaging your own interests in future elections.

I believe in the future of this country and everything Dr. King stood for. That is why it upsets me that protesters these days have turned to violent means to express their opinions. I think Dr. Martin Luther King would be ashamed at how these protests have turned towards violence instead of using the example he gave us and his life for.

I also believe Dr. King would not only be voicing his opinions but trying to register as many people to vote as he possibly could that agreed with what he was protesting for. He relied heavily on organizations to help him that focused on peaceful resistance and registering voters, with one of the most important being the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee  (SNCC). The SNCC was created in 1960 by Ella Baker with an $800 grant from the Southern Christian Leadership Committee (SCLC) which Dr. King was the first President of.

Dr. King was willing to put himself in harm’s way to deliver a peaceful message to all he could deliver it to, but other groups like the SNCC were crucial to increasing voter turnout and changing the political landscape of the country. The SNCC was responsible for many protests, “Freedom Rides”, and sit-ins. Although they eventually fizzled out of existence by 1970 due to internal struggles, their work was essential to both the Civil Rights and Voting Acts in the 1960’s. They were a driving force behind the Freedom Summer of 1964 and due to organizations like them voter registration increased from below 10% among the black community to over 50% within only a few years in some areas. Naturally, this had a huge impact on elections as communities began to realize the power of their votes after they gained the right to vote.

Protesting is wonderful, but protesting without registering new voters and observing nonviolent strategies in the crucial places lost the 2016 election for Democrats. Occupy Wall Street created the beginning of the recent liberal protests, but they effectively did nothing in the long haul policy-wise. Protesting violently will also do nothing to progress liberal policies, and will only incite more rage in Conservatives and get them to turn up to vote in larger numbers in the future.

In comparison, the Tea Party movement is the root of what gave Donald Trump the ability to win. It grew out of opposition to Democrats and Obama whether it was justified or not. The voters who won the election for Trump in the swing states that went against all the pundits’ predictions are a direct result of the Tea Party movement which grew inside the Republican party. They went out and they got their neighbors to vote, they marched on Washington, they did everything right, and even though I don’t agree with them I admire the tenacity they showed in changing the Republican party from within. The Democrats need to use the Tea Party as a case study without the divisive and sometimes racist elements that came with it.

If Democrats don’t take their surplus of voters in their strongholds like the West Coast and invest serious resources in registering voters in battleground states before the 2020 election then liberals are handing another four years to the Republican party.

We need to fund voter registration drives. We need to increase voter registration in the Democratic strongholds of the midwest like Kansas City that get drowned out by the number of conservatives in their states that are registered to vote. We need to pay to relocate people from cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and New York to move to battleground states and work full time registering voters in places like Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

We need Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren doing voter registration drives in battleground states right now. We need to successfully win an election based on how the election actually works and not the popular vote. We need our Democratic members of Congress and the Senate to spend less time fundraising and more time on when, where, how, and why it is so important if we want to change this country.

We saw the amount of popularity Bernie Sanders gained in only one year of campaigning, imagine if he focused his energy right now on helping with the 2018 and 2020 elections. Only half the eligible voters in this country voted in 2016. We have tons of ground to register more liberal voters and flip swing states in 2-4 years. It isn’t that difficult if we educate people on how to vote and get larger numbers of liberal people to actually show up at the polls in the 2018 midterms and 2020 general election.

Many of the things Dr. King dreamed of are a reality today because of the way he fought for the Civil Rights of all people in this country, and people fighting for civil rights and against oppression today have lost sight of the way he accomplished his dreams even after his death. He built a message and convinced voters who were only white to support his ideas in large enough numbers to change the status quo. We need to do the same thing today in the areas that barely won Donald Trump the 2016 election. It is no secret that a vast majority of white voters voted for Trump, and we need to adapt to that reality and take our message to them so that their opinions might change even just a little.

What do we have to lose as liberals? We don’t have control of any of the branches of the government right now, and it will only get worse if we don’t do something about it sooner rather than later.