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Primary Election 101: Poll hours, registration, and more

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Primary Election 101: Poll hours, registration, and more

By Katie O'Connell. CREATED Aug 11, 2014 - UPDATED: Aug 12, 2014

Tuesday, Aug. 12 is the date for primary elections in Wisconsin. Here's what you need to know about the election and how to vote. 

 
1). When do polls open and close?
 
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
 
2). Where do I vote?
 
That will depend on your address. Visit MyVote Wisconsin to find your polling place. 
 
3). Can I see a sample ballot?
 
Sample ballots are also available at MyVote Wisconsin
 
4). Do I need an ID to vote?
 
You do not need to have an ID to vote. All registered voters can vote. 
 
If you are not a registered voter, you can register in-person on election day. You must bring an acceptable proof of residence document to register on election day. 
 
If you have changed your name or address since voting last, you will need to update your registration. You must also bring an acceptable proof of residence document to register on election day. 
 
A list of acceptable documents is available here.
 
If you are uncertain about your registration status, you can check with your municipal clerk or on the state's MyVote Wisconsin website.  
 
5). How do primary elections work?
 
The State of Wisconsin conducts what's called "partisian primaries." Unlike general elections, where you can vote for candidates from any party, you may only vote for candidates from one party. 
 
“Unlike the November General Election, the Partisan Primary in August is for voters to nominate who they would like to move on to the November election,” said Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel of the Government Accountability Board in a statement. “But the law says voters can only participate in one party’s primary.”
 
Elections Division Administrator Michael Haas reminded voters that if your municipality has electronic voting equipment, it is programed to reject ballots with crossover votes. 
 
“If you make a mistake and vote in multiple parties, ask a poll worker for a new ballot.  You may do this up to three times,” Haas said in a statement.
 
6). Who is running for election?
 
Offices to be elected during the general elections include: Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Representative in Congress, State Senator (odd-numbered districts), Representatives to the Assembly (all districts). County offices include: Sheriff, Clerk of Circuit Court and (where applicable) Coroner. 
 
For the complete list of Candidates on Ballot by Election from the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, click here
 
7). What else should I know?
 
Other key points:
  • You do not have to show a photo ID to receive a primary ballot.
  • If you are planning on voting absentee, your ballot must be postmarked by Election Day. It must be received in your municipal clerk's office by 4 p.m. on the Friday after the election (August 15, 2014). 
  • Election observers must follow the rules. For more on the rules, click here
  • Voters are asked not to wear political clothing or paraphernalia. You may be asked to remove any.
  • Under Wisconsin state law, it is illegal to post a picture of your completed ballot on social media. 
For more information on voting in tomorrow's primary election, click here