All the Dates and Deadlines You Should Know Before You Vote in Wisconsin

All the Dates and Deadlines You Should Know Before You Vote in Wisconsin

By Jonathon Sadowski

October 13, 2020

From registration deadlines to the early voting period, it’s all here.

For more coverage designed to help you cast a ballot this fall, see our special page on the election: Your Vote Matters

The presidential election is just three weeks away, and hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots are already being filled out and returned in Wisconsin. But if you haven’t voted yet, here are some deadlines to keep in mind as you make your plans.

First, Wednesday is the last day to register online or by mail and still be eligible to vote on Nov. 3. That said, voters also will be eligible to vote by registering in-person at their local clerk’s office through 5 p.m. Oct. 30 or at their polling location on Election Day.

Remember to bring a valid photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport and a utility bill, for example, as proof of residency.  If registering online, you will need to upload a photo of your ID. 

Anyone planning to vote absentee by mail can request a ballot at or at their local clerk’s office. Ballots come with a prepaid envelope to return in the mail, or they can be left in ballot drop boxes set up in some cities throughout the state. 

The deadline to request mailed absentee ballots is 5 p.m. Oct 29 for most voters, while indefinitely confined or military voters have until 5 p.m. Oct. 30. However, it may be unwise to wait until the deadline this year, as the US Postal Service recently suffered cuts mandated by President Donald Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy intended to slow down mail service.

Voters should expect up to a week of transit time to and from the clerk’s office, so state elections officials are urging voters to send ballots back as soon as possible if returning by mail. Alternatively, absentee ballots can be turned in at local clerks’ offices until 8 p.m. on Nov. 3, when the polls close.

Early voting—another form of absentee voting—is available in-person at local clerk’s offices Oct. 20 through Nov. 1, though the hours and dates may vary depending on each municipality. Visit to get contact information for your local clerk’s office to find out your local early voting timeframe.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Anyone who arrives at their polling place by 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote as long as they stay in line. Visit to find your polling place.


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