As the election draws near, Wisconsin residents are starting to see a lot of mail from candidates and outside groups.
Some of those mailings may be telling them they are not currently registered to vote or urge them to request an absentee ballot. Reid Magney with the state Elections Commission says the commission has been receiving many questions about those mailings – some of which may have incorrect or incomplete information on them.
“It’s not an issue of being deliberately confusing,” Magney says. “I think these groups really want people to register to vote or to vote absentee…they’re just not doing it well.”
For example, a recent mailing from the NRA which directs people to return their applications to the state. However, voter registrations are handled through local municipal clerks’ offices, and sending it to the wrong location could cause problems on Election Day. Magney says the best thing voters can do is start with local officials, and not use a pre-filled form to get the process started. “Relying on somebody else to fill out your form…it may not always turn out the best,” he advises.
Voters can check on their registration status with their municipal clerk or visit the state My Vote Wisconsin website, which also has information that can help start the registration process. They can also just register at their polling place on Election Day.
The state will be sending out postcards later this month to about 1.2 million residents who election officials believe are not currently registered to vote. Recipients will be urged to check with their local clerk or online, if they wish to register in advance of Election Day.