Voting 5

Do you have questions about the absentee voting process? Here's a breakdown on how it all works.

Who can request an absentee ballot?

Any qualified elector (U.S. citizen, 18 years of age, who has resided in the district in which he or she intends to vote for at least 28 days) who registers to vote is eligible to request an absentee ballot.

Under Wisconsin law, voters do not need a reason or excuse, such as being out of town on Election Day, to vote absentee. Any voter who prefers to vote by absentee ballot may request one.

How do I get an absentee ballot?

If you are a registered Wisconsin voter, you can download the Application For Absentee Ballot (EL-121) at

Just complete the form and mail it to your municipal clerk’s office. You can find your clerk at by searching for your voter record or performing an address search.

You can also find your clerk by searching through the list of all Wisconsin municipal clerks. You also will need to provide a copy of your acceptable photo ID with your request. If you have not previously provided a copy of photo ID, photo ID must accompany your first application by mail. More information about photo ID can be found at

If you are not already registered, you will need to register to vote before an absentee ballot can be sent to you.

Voters who are indefinitely confined due to age, illness, infirmity, or disability may request that a ballot be automatically sent to them for each election. Indefinitely confined voters do not need to provide a photo ID with their absentee ballot request. If you or someone you know are indefinitely confined you will make this designation in box 6 of the Application for Absentee Ballot (EL-121). More information on the exceptions to the photo ID law can be found at

Do I have to use the website to get my ballot?

All registered voters also may use to request their absentee ballot by clicking “Vote Absentee.” If you have previously voted absentee, the state already has your photo and address on file and the process of requesting an absentee ballot can be done online in a matter of minutes.

What is the latest I can return an absentee ballot?

Your completed absentee ballot must be delivered no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day. The U.S. Postal Service recommends absentee ballots be mailed at least one week before Election Day to arrive in time.

Can I vote absentee in my clerk’s office?

Yes, you can vote absentee at your local municipal clerk’s office—also known as early voting. If you apply for an absentee ballot in your municipal clerk’s office, or another designated location for in-person absentee voting, you will vote your ballot immediately in the clerk’s office, seal your ballot in the proper envelope, and return it to a member of the clerk’s staff. No ballots may be taken out of the clerk’s office.

You will need to show your acceptable photo ID for voting when voting by in-person absentee ballot.

Each city, village, and town in Wisconsin is responsible for setting the dates and hours of in-person absentee voting for their municipality. In-person absentee voting cannot occur more than two weeks before an election. To find the dates and hours for in-person absentee voting where you live, contact your municipal clerk.

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