On Tuesday, March 6, 2012, in one of the two lawsuits in Dane County Circuit Court against the voter ID law, a Dane County judge ordered the Governor and the Government Accountability Board to “cease immediately any effort to enforce or implement the photo identification requirements” of the law. This means that at the present time it appears Wisconsin residents who are eligible to vote will not be required to produce photo identification at the upcoming election on April 3, 2012, and possibly elections thereafter. The judge’s order is subject to appeal and UW institutions will continue to provide voter ID compliant student ID cards and enrollment verifications to students who request them. As further information becomes available, updates will be provided on this website.
Beginning with the spring primary elections in February 2012, in addition to meeting existing requirements, Wisconsin voters will need to present an acceptable form of photo identification at the polling place in order to be able to vote. Thus, in order to be able to vote in Wisconsin, voters must meet the following requirements:
Each of these requirements will be discussed in detail below.
What are the voting requirements and how do I fulfill them?
1. Register to vote
If you have not previously voted in Wisconsin, or if you have moved since you last voted in Wisconsin, getting registered is the first step.
- Prior to Election Day, you may register by mail up to 20 days before the election. Complete the Wisconsin Voter Registration Application and mail it to your municipal clerk. If you are a first time voter in the State of Wisconsin, you will also need to show proof of residence.
- You may register in person at the municipal clerk’s office until the Friday before the election. If it is less than 20 days before the elections, you must provide proof of residence.
- On Election Day, you may register at the polls; however, you will be required to show both an acceptable photo id and proof of residence.
2. Provide Valid Photo ID
Most UW-Stevens Point students will already have an acceptable photo ID, which may be any of the following:
- A valid Wisconsin driver license or identification card
- Military ID
- A U.S. passport
- A certificate of naturalization issued not earlier than two years before the date of the election at which it is presented
- An identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin
If you are a currently enrolled UWSP student but do not already have one of the acceptable forms of photo ID and plan to cast your ballot in Wisconsin, UW-Stevens Point can assist you. We are prepared to issue students who need them a UWSP Voter ID card which is compliant with the new law. The UWSP Voter ID card is separate from your current UWSP campus ID card. Please note that the current UWSP campus ID card does not fulfill the requirements of the law and will not be accepted for voting purposes.
UWSP also has available, via your myPoint page, a Voter ID Enrollment Verification Letter which you may print out to provide you with proof of enrollment and/or to verify your address. This document is required if you will be using the UWSP Voter ID as your identification on Election Day. This document may also be used to verify your current, local address if you are using some other form of ID that does not show your current address. (More on that below.)
The separate UWSP Voter ID will be available, free of charge, beginning in January. Go to the PointCard Office in the Dreyfus University Center, room 206, to obtain your UWSP Voter ID. Call 715-346-2012 or go to http://pointcard.uwsp.edu/ for office hours.
3. Provide proof of residence (local address)
Proof of residence is required if you are:
- A first time registrant in Wisconsin and if you are registering by mail;
- Registering in the clerk’s office less than 20 days before the election; or
- Registering at the polls on Election Day.
Proof of residence documents must include the voter’s current address. The following items are acceptable to prove Wisconsin residency for voter registration purposes:
- A current and valid Wisconsin driver license or identification card or any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit. NOTE: Your driver’s license must have your current, local address in order to qualify. If your driver’s license lists an address other than your current, local address, this item will not work as proof of residence.
- The UWSP Voter ID Enrollment Letter, as long as it lists your current, local (mailing) address. (If necessary, before printing the document, be sure to update your mailing address on your myPoint page to reflect your local address).
- Employer issued ID card with cardholder photo and your current address.
- A real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year which shows your current address.
- A recent (within 90 days of voter registration) gas, electric, or telephone service statement (utility bill) with current address.
- Bank statement with current address.
- Paycheck with current address.
- Residential lease. (Not valid if registering by mail.)
The UWSP Voter ID Enrollment Verification Letter will also be available beginning in February. To access your UWSP Voter ID Enrollment Verification Letter, log on to your UWSP account. First confirm that your mailing address reflects your local/current address while attending UW-Stevens Point. If it does not, go to your myPoint homepage and under myProfile choose the Change Local Address option and update your current local address. Then on your myPoint page, go to the Academics tab and under Course Info you will find your Voter ID Enrollment Verification letter option. Click on this link to generate and print your letter.
Link to the Voter ID Enrollment Verification Letter: https://mypoint.uwsp.edu/regrec/regrec071/ (this link is a secure site-the letter can only be accessed by currently enrolled students).
Expectations on Election Day
- Make sure you know where your polling place is located. Go to http://stevenspoint.com/index.aspx?NID=488 for assistance.
- Remember to bring an acceptable photo ID to the polling place. You might want to bring along proof of local residence documents (such as the UWSP Voter ID Enrollment Letter) just in case you need to register at the polls.
- You will be asked to sign the poll list.
- Be proud to exercise your right to vote.
Other Useful Web sites:
This site is geared toward helping students understand and comply with the state’s new voter ID law that takes effect beginning with the February 21, 2012 primary. The UW System Student Affairs and Academic Support office and our System legal staff, with the cooperation of the Government Accountability Board, have developed detailed guidance to assist students in complying with the state’s new voting regulations, which include voter ID and other changes.
Frequently Asked Questions
I live in the University Housing. Where is my polling location?
- Pray-Sims, Suites @ 201, May Roach, and Smith - Recreation Center, 2442 Sims Avenue.
- Baldwin, Hansen, Neale, Hyer, and Steinter - Dreyfus University Center, 1015 Reserve Street.
- Burroughs, Knutzen, Thomson, and Watson - Pacelli High School, 1301 Maria Drive.
If I’m using the UWSP Voter ID card, what else do I need to do to be ready to vote?
In addition to the UWSP-issued Voter ID card, you must establish that you are currently enrolled in classes. Through your myPoint page, you may print a Voter ID Enrollment Letter which verifies your current address and current enrollment status at UW-Stevens Point.
How do I access the UWSP Voter ID Enrollment Letter?
To access your UWSP Voter ID Enrollment Verification Letter, log on to your UWSP account. First confirm that your mailing address reflects your local/current address while attending UW-Stevens Point. If it does not, go to your myPoint homepage and under myProfile choose the Change Local Address option and update your current local address. Then on your myPoint page, go to the Academics tab and under Course Info you will find your Voter ID Enrollment Verification letter option. Click on this link to generate and print your letter.
What if I am not enrolled on the date of the election?
The UWSP Voter ID Card is an acceptable form of photo ID ONLY for students who are enrolled on the date of the election. Your other option is to obtain a state-issued photo ID card from your local DMV. However, your UWSP Voter ID Enrollment Letter may still be used to show proof of local, current address.
Can my UWSP Voter ID card serve as my UWSP campus ID card?
No. Access to campus services (i.e., meal plan, library, etc.) is only available with your PointCard. The UWSP Voter ID card is for voting purposes only.
Do I have to use the special UWSP Voter ID card to vote?
No. You just need to show an acceptable form of photo ID as listed above.
What if I forget my ID on Election Day? What can I do?
You are allowed to vote by provisional ballot. You may bring your photo ID to the polling place later that day. You may also present your photo ID to the municipal clerk by 4 p.m. on the third day after Election Day (Friday). If you don’t provide a photo ID by the deadline, your ballot will not count.