Wisconsin 2023 spring election: How late polls are open, where to vote, referendum questions and more
The 2023 Wisconsin spring general election is April 4. The election will determine a new justice on the Supreme Court as well as other local, nonpartisan offices. Here's what you need to know to cast your ballot:
How late is voting open in Wisconsin?
Election day voting goes from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. All eligible voters in line at 8 p.m. will be able to vote.
Daniel Kelly vs Janet Protasiewicz are candidates in Wisconsin Supreme Court race
The high-stakes election has liberal Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge Janet Protasiewicz facing off against conservative former Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly. The court's majority will be determined by the outcome of this race, as it currently holds a 4-3 conservative lean and the new justice will replace conservative Patience Roggensack, who chose not to run for reelection.
More: Wisconsin's Supreme Court race holds high stakes. Here's a breakdown of issues the next court could hear, from abortion to voting rules.
What are the three Wisconsin referendum questions on the ballot in 2023?
Three statewide referendums will be on the ballot in the general election:
State of Wisconsin Conditions of Release Before Conviction referendum: Under the state constitution currently, a person accused of a crime is eligible for release before conviction under reasonable conditions designed to assure the appearance of the accused in court, protect members of the community from serious bodily harm or prevent the intimidation of witnesses. A "yes" vote on this question would amend the constitution's wording from "serious bodily harm" to "serious harm." The Legislature would then determine the definition of "serious harm."
State of Wisconsin Cash Bail Before Conviction referendum: Under the state constitution currently, judges can include bail as a condition of release for a person accused of a violent crime only if there's a reasonable basis to believe that bail is necessary to assure the appearance of the accused in court. A "yes" vote on this question would amend the constitution to allow judges to consider the totality of the circumstances of a defendant, including a person's past criminal record and the need to protect the public from "serious harm," when setting the monetary amount of bail.
State of Wisconsin Welfare Benefits advisory referendum: This question asks if able-bodied, childless Wisconsin residents should be required to look for work for welfare benefits. It's an advisory question so it would have no effect on state law.
In Milwaukee County, an advisory referendum will ask if the state law that bans abortion at any stage of pregnancy without exception for rape, incest or health of the patient should be repealed to allow legal access to abortion care.
More: April bail referendums: What they're about, who supports them and who could be most affected by them?
Who's running for the Wisconsin Senate's 8th District?
The April 4 election also will include a special election to fill the state Senate's 8th District seat formerly held by Sen. Alberta Darling, who retired. Democrat Jodi Habush Sinykin will face Republican Rep. Dan Knodl. The 8th District includes a number of north and northwest suburbs — including Whitefish Bay, Bayside, River Hills, Fox Point, Mequon, Thiensville, Grafton, Germantown, Menomonee Falls, Sussex and most of Brown Deer — and stretching across southern Washington County
What Milwaukee area races are there this spring?
Three Milwaukee Common Council seats, in Districts 1, 5 and 9 on the city's north and northwest sides.
Milwaukee County Board seat for District 14, representing parts of the south side of Milwaukee.
Longtime judge Derek Mosley left the Milwaukee Municipal Court for a position at Marquette University. Meet the candidates running to replace him.
Meet the people running for Court of Appeals in Milwaukee.
What races are on my ballot for the Wisconsin election?
You can go to myvote.wi.gov and enter your address in the What's On My Ballot page to see your list of races.
How do I find my polling place?
You also can find your polling location at myvote.wi.gov.
What do I need to bring to the polls?
To cast your ballot, you'll need to have one of the following forms of identification.
Voter ID (a Wisconsin driver's license, even if driving privileges are revoked or suspended).
Wisconsin Identification Card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (available for free).
A military ID card issued by a U.S. uniformed service.
A U.S. passport, an identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin (can be used even if expired, regardless of expiration date).
How do I vote early or absentee?
There are several options for casting your ballot early:
To vote by mail, you can submit your request for an absentee ballot.
You can vote early and in-person in your municipality beginning two weeks before election day. Office hours will vary depending on the municipality and you can find more details about your area here.
If you would like to vote by mail for every election due to age, illness, disability or infirmity, you can request an absentee ballot be sent to you for every election, automatically, as an “indefinitely confined elector.”
Can you register to vote on election day?
In Wisconsin, voters can register in-person, online or by mail. The deadline to register to vote online or by mail is March 15. Mailed registrations must have been postmarked to a county clerk by this date. Registration could also be done in-person at a municipal clerk's office by March 31.
In-person registration will be available at your polling place on the election day. All voters must include proof of residency with their registration. Any of the following documents will be accepted:
Utility bill (gas, electric, phone) issued within the last 90 days.
Bank, credit union, credit card or mortgage statement.
Current and valid Wisconsin driver's license or Wisconsin Identification Card.
A government-issued document or letter (federal, state, county, municipal, tribal, state college or public school).
Check issued by a unit of government.
Real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year or the previous year.
Residential lease effective on the day of registration.
Contract or intake document issued when admitted to a nursing home or care facility.
College fee statement issued in the last nine months, accompanied by student ID card.
Affidavit from a public or private social service agency, on letterhead, identifying an individual who is homeless and indicating where that individual resides.
An official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit.
An identification card issued by an employer in the normal course of business, which has a photograph of the cardholder (not a business card).
Fishing and hunting licenses.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin 2023 election guide: Referendum questions, who's on ballot