College students might find it difficult to vote in the Aug. 14 primary elections, as moving day coincides with the primaries.
For one, some students are confused about what address they should use to vote from, according to Associate Students of Madison vote coordinator Beth Alleman.
If a student is moving on Aug. 14 or Aug. 15, “they should vote at their old address,” according to Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell.
Finding time to get the polls on moving day could be a challenge for students, so Alleman encourages students to vote absentee.
“There are going to be students sleeping in a U-Haul the night before. Students could vote absentee to bypass all the confusion,” she said.
Wisconsin has an open primary, and there is no party association with a voter's registration.
“When you receive your ballot, the voter must stay within one party on that ballot and not try and vote in multiple party primaries,” McDonell said.
If a student is registered to vote in another state and voted in that state's primary, they will not be allowed to vote in the Wisconsin primary, according to McDonell.
Wisconsin requires a photo identification to vote at the polls. Acceptable forms of identification include a valid Wisconsin driver’s license, Wisconsin state ID, U.S. passport, U.S. Uniformed Services card, Veterans Affairs ID, tribal ID or Certificate of Naturalization, according to ASM.
The address on a person's ID does not matter; the purpose of presenting an ID at the polls is to prove identity. Students without one of the forms of ID listed above can obtain a UW–Madison voter-compliant ID card free of charge. A student will need to present proof of enrollment at the polls.
To prove enrollment a student can present a Voter Enrollment Verification letter (link is only viewable to UW students), class schedule, tuition receipt, current semester ASM bus pass or any document that proves enrollment for the fall semester.
According to McDonell, a mistake made by some students is not realizing they are not eligible to vote.
“You must be 18 to vote. Sometimes there is confusion that if a student will turn 18 before the general election in November that they can vote in August, but that is wrong,” McDonell said.
Offices on the ballot in the Aug. 14 primary election will be governor, U.S. senator, U.S. representative, odd-numbered Wisconsin state Senate seats and all Wisconsin Assembly seats.
For more information, students can visit vote.wisc.edu.
Editor's note: Some details in the original version of this story were unclear or incorrect, so it has been updated.