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. You have several options for requesting an absentee ballot and casting your vote.
Request an Absentee Ballot by Mail
If you are a registered Wisconsin voter, you can download the Application For Absentee Ballot (GAB-121). Just complete the form and mail it to your municipal clerk's office. You can find your clerk at MyVote WI: myvote.wi.gov 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. Your application and a copy of your photo ID must be received by the clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday before the election in order for an absentee ballot to be SENT to you.
If you are not already registered, you will need to register to vote before an absentee ballot can be sent to you.
Request an Absentee Ballot by E-Mail or Fax
Regular Wisconsin voters may also request that a ballot be sent to them by sending an e-mail or fax to their municipal clerk. If you are requesting by email, you may include a picture of your photo ID. If you are faxing a request, include a photocopy of your photo ID. This request must be made no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday before the election in order for an absentee ballot to be SENT to you.
Options and Deadlines for Returning Your Absentee Ballot
- U.S. Postal Service: Your completed absentee ballot must be postmarked no later than Election Day and received by the municipal clerk no later than 4 p.m. on the Friday after the election.
- Other delivery (FedEx, hand-delivery, etc.): Your completed absentee ballot must be delivered to the municipal clerk no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day
In-Person Absentee Voting at your Municipal Clerk's Office (Early Voting)
You can also vote absentee at your local municipal clerk's office. You must show an acceptable photo ID to receive your ballot. In-person absentee voting (also known as early voting) runs on weekdays for two weeks before an election, ending at 5 p.m. or the close of business (whichever is later) on the Friday before the election. For the 2014 General Election, the dates are:
- October 20 to 31 (General Election)
Please check with your municipal clerk for office hours. Early voting is no longer permitted on weekends.
You can find your clerk at MyVote WI: myvote.wi.gov 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.
If you apply for an absentee ballot in your municipal clerk's office, you show an acceptable photo ID, vote your ballot immediately, seal your ballot in the proper envelope, and return it to a member of the clerk's staff. No ballots may be taken from the clerk's office.
Remember, you can only vote once!
Please note: In 2011 the Legislature passed Act 227, which prohibits a voter who has returned a completed absentee ballot from voting at the polling place on Election Day. Previously, voters who cast an absentee ballot and changed their minds could go to the polling place and vote on Election Day, and their absentee ballot would not be counted. This is no longer an option.
Instructions for Completing Absentee Ballot
You can find detailed instructions here: Uniform Instructions for Absentee Voters.
If you do not know who your clerk is, or where the clerk's office is located, please use MyVote WI: myvote.wi.gov.