Mover's Guide: Wisconsin

August 10, 2010

Board of Elections: 608-266-8005

I moved from the address at which I am registered.  What should I do?

I moved from another state.

If you moved to Wisconsin from another state, you must register to vote in Wisconsin to be able to vote.[1]  Wisconsin allows you to register to vote at the polling place in your election district or an alternate polling place on Election Day if you provide identification and proof of residence.[2]  You can also register in person at the municipal clerk’s office up until 5 p.m. on the day before the election, provided you sign a registration form and present proof of residence.[3]  If you do not take advantage of either of these options, the last day to register by mail in time to vote in the next election is 5 p.m. on the third Wednesday preceding the election.[4]   

If you moved from out of state, you are eligible to vote if you have been a resident in the election district for ten days before the election in which you want to vote.[5]  In addition, if you move to Wisconsin within ten days of a presidential election and are otherwise qualified, you can register in Wisconsin at your municipal clerk’s office or your polling place to vote and cast a ballot for President and Vice President.[6]

I moved within Wisconsin.

If you moved to a new address within the state, you can transfer your registration by submitting in person with the municipal clerk or mailing to the municipal clerk a signed request stating your present address, affirming that this will be your residence for 10 days before the election and providing the address where you are last registered.  Completing a new registration form can update your registration records.  That form is available here: http://gab.wi.gov/elections-voting/voters/registration-voting.

The election is right around the corner and I never updated my registration from my previous address.  What should I do?

Wisconsin permits voters who have not previously registered or who were registered at a prior address to register or re-register to vote and vote at their current polling place on Election Day.[7]

Scenario One: A Move Before Ten Days of a Non-Presidential Election

If you moved within the state more than 10 days before an election, you can register to vote and vote at your new polling place or an alternative polling place designated by the board of election commissioners on Election Day.[8]  To register to vote at the polling place on Election Day, you need to fill out a registration application and provide identification and proof of residence.[9]

If you did not bring your Wisconsin driver’s license to the polls (and do not have the number memorized), but have a current one, you are entitled to cast a provisional ballot.[10]  Your provisional ballot will be counted only if:

a) You bring your driver’s license number to your polling place before the polls close at 8:00 pm on Election Day; or

b) You transmit (via fax, email, telephone call or personal visit) your driver’s license number to the municipal clerk before 4:00 pm on the day after the Election.[11]

Scenario Two: A Move Within Ten Days of a Non-Presidential Election

If you moved to a new address within the state in the 10 days before an election, you can vote at the polling place associated with your old address.[12]


[1] Wis. Stat. Ann. § 6.27 (West 2010).

[2] Wis. Stat. Ann. § 6.55.

[3] Wis. Stat. Ann. § 6.29.

[4] Wis. Stat. Ann. § 6.28(1).

[5] Wis. Stat. Ann. §§ 6.02, .10 (West 2010).

[6] Wis. Stat. Ann. §§ 6.02(2), 6.15.

[7] Wis. Stat. Ann. §§ 6.40 (1), .55 (West 2010).

[8] Wis. Stat. Ann. §§ 6.02(2), 6.55, 5.25(5)(b).

[9] Wis. Stat. Ann. §§ 6.55, 6.34.  Proof of residence includes a number of documents such as driver’s license, government issued identification, utility bill, or bank statement that contains the voter’s current and complete name and address.  Id. § 6.34; see also Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, Voter Information: How to Register and Vote on Election Day, http://gab.wi.gov/faq (last visited Nov. 9, 2011).

[10] See Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, Voter Information: How to Register and Vote on Election Day, http://gab.wi.gov/faq (last visited Nov. 9, 2011); Wis. Stat. Ann. § 6.97.

[11] See Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, Voter Information: How to Register and Vote on Election Day, http://gab.wi.gov/faq (last visited Nov. 9, 2011); Wis. Stat. Ann. § 6.97.

[12] Wis. Stat. Ann. § 6.02(2).