Taking the pain out of the polls on this Election Day

Leah Ulatowski, Editor-in-Chief

A recent Marquette Law School poll found that Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke are tied in the upcoming Wisconsin gubernatorial election.

Lakeland College students who desire to have their say in the close match should start preparing now for Election Day on Nov. 4, whether that means registering to vote or applying for an absentee ballot.

If a student has voted in Wisconsin for past elections, he or she is already registered; however, it is always safe to double check that one is listed as an “active” voter and that one’s address is up to date by visiting MyVote.wi.gov and clicking the “Regular Voter” tab. This function will also automatically show one’s polling place location.

For students who recently came of age or have never voted, it is necessary to register, which may be done any time up to and including on Election Day.

It is too late to register by mail, but students may register in person by visiting the local department of motor vehicles or any public place that Wisconsin has designated as a voter registration facility prior to Nov. 1. Sheboygan residents can find information on these designated facilities by visiting www.ci.sheboygan.wi.us.

Students should find their local polling place location by visiting the official websites of their counties or cities. They may opt to register to vote on Election Day at these locations.

Students should not need photo identification to register or to vote because the Supreme Court blocked the Wisconsin voter ID law on Oct. 9. They will still need proof of residence, which is most often achieved by providing a current driver’s license, ID card, utility bill or bank statement.

If a student is unable or unwilling to make the trip to the polls on Nov. 4, he or she may consider an absentee ballot. In Wisconsin, any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot without an explanation.

The application for an absentee ballot is found at gab.wi.gov. The form must be mailed to the local municipal clerk’s office and arrive no later than 5 p.m. on Oct. 30. Students can also email their local municipal clerk to make the request.

For students who are not Wisconsin residents and have registered to vote in their respective states, the absentee ballot application process is the same and information can be found at their cities’ websites. Unlike Wisconsin, some states require an excuse for voting by absentee ballot, in which case students should list themselves as temporarily living outside the county for college.

Please note that a voter who has voted by an absentee ballot is prohibited from voting at a polling place on Election Day.

For more news coverage or opinion pieces on the upcoming election, visit our website at lakelandmirror.com.