In my high school Civics class, I was taught that voting is both a right and a responsibility. My brother, an Eagle Scout, encouraged me to always be prepared. That's what brought me to Wisconsin's voter information website, MyVote Wisconsin, to make sure voting is as easy as possible in the next election. This website has so many handy functions and features, it's sure to be useful as you get ready to cast your ballot. I even learned about a couple types of voting I wasn't aware of!
MyVote Wisconsin will help you check and update your registration, register to vote if you haven't already, find your polling place, see what's on your ballot, track upcoming election dates, request and track your absentee ballot, and more!
Our next election is the 2020 Spring Primary on Tuesday, February 18, but even if you're planning to wait for the general, it never hurts to be prepared.
Are you registered to vote?
It can't hurt to double check, especially if you've moved or changed your name, in which case you'll need to update your registration (and MyVote will walk you through how to do so). If you have a valid State of Wisconsin Driver's License, you will be able to complete or update your voter registration online.
You can also register to vote - or update your registration - by mail. Simply fill out the EL-131 form (available online here or at the City Clerk's Office at 1115 S. Main Street, West Bend). Sign the form, then mail it back to the City Clerk's Office along with Proof of Residence. Here is a list of acceptable forms of Proof of Residence (which must include your name and current residential address):
- State of Wisconsin Driver's License or State ID card
- Real estate tax bill for the current or preceding year
- Utility bill (gas, electric, telephone, etc.)
- Bank or credit card statement
- Paycheck or pay stub
- Check or other document issues by a unit of government
- An all-inclusive Proof of Residence list can be found on the City Clerk's website here
You can register in person at the City Clerk's Office at 1115 S. Main Street, West Bend, until 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before the election, OR at your polling place on Election Day! Just make sure to bring your ID and Proof of Residence.
Where do you vote?
On MyVote Wisconsin, click on "Find My Polling Place" and enter your address. Or, if you know your district, see the list below.
- District 1: Meadowbrook Manor, 475 Meadowbrook Drive
- District 2: West Bend Community Memorial Library, 630 Poplar St.
- District 3: First Baptist Church, 2300 S. Main St.
- District 4: City Hall, 1115 S. Main St.
- District 5: Washington County PAC, 333 E. Washington St.
- District 6: Washington County Government Center, 432 E. Washington St.
- District 7: Moraine Park Technical College, 2151 N. Main St. AMTC Addition, Entrance T2
- District 8: Cedar Ridge, 113 Cedar Ridge Dr.
After you are registered to vote, you can request and absentee ballot to skip the line at the polls. Either use the absentee ballot request tool on the MyVote Wisconsin website, or fill out an EL-121 form (available online here or at the City Clerk's office) and return it by mail, email, or fax with a copy of your photo ID. MyVote Wisconsin will allow you to track the status of your absentee ballot online. Regular and Overseas voters may request and absentee ballot by mail until 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday before an election. Indefinitely Confined and Military voters may request an absentee ballot by mail until 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before an election. No absentee ballots can be returned electronically.
In-person absentee voting typically takes place at the City Clerk's Office from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for the 15 days leading up to an election. This type of voting concludes at 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before an election. The number of days absentee voting takes place does depend on the type of election, so visit the City Clerk's website or call them at 262-335-5013 to confirm.
All absentee ballots MUST be received by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day!
College students have the option of registering at school, or requesting an absentee ballot for their home address. Just stop in the City Clerk's office before heading off to school, or request an absentee ballot in any of the ways mentioned above. You do have to be registered to vote, and have a photo ID.
Military voters do not have to register to vote. Simply request an absentee ballot in any of the ways outlined above, or fill out a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) available here. The City Clerk's office can help with any issues that arise, and request that you contact them by email at email@example.com.
United States Citizens Living Overseas:
Permanent overseas voters are only eligible to vote in elections that contain a federal office. Temporary overseas voters are City of West Bend residents who are only temporarily living outside the United States, with intent to return. If you're a temporary overseas voter, you have regular voting privileges, and may request an absentee ballot as described above.
If you are hospitalized within 7 days before the election, there are special provisions for absentee voting. Please contact the City Clerk's office directly.
Contact the City Clerk's Office
Still have questions or need further assistance? At the time of this blog post, our City Clerk is Stephanie Justmann. Contact her and her office at:
1115 S. Main Street West Bend, WI 53095
Fax: (262) 335-5164
Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, excluding holidays