The Most Common Mistakes That Get Wisconsin Voters Turned Away on Election Day

By Christina Lorey

August 3, 2022

Don’t miss out on having your voice heard. Wisconsin’s Primary is Aug. 9, 2022.

Voting has already begun in the Badger State, with primary elections for governor, Congress, state legislature, attorney general, and other partisan elections on the ballot. But every election cycle, some voters inevitably get turned away for not following the necessary rules when going to cast their ballots.

Here are a few of the most common mistakes, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission:

  • Not registering to vote. Luckily, in Wisconsin, this “problem” has an easy fix: voters can register on Election Day! You simply need to bring the proper forms of identification, which leads to the next mistake…

  • Having the incorrect IDs. A student ID is not valid for voting. Neither is a driver’s license that expired during the pandemic (those were accepted for a certain time during the pandemic). Valid forms of identification include a Wisconsin driver’s license, US Passport, or a free campus-issued voter ID card for college students across the state. University of Wisconsin students can click here for more information.

  • Showing up at the wrong location. On August 9, you must vote at your assigned polling place, based on where you live. MyVoteWisconsin has an easy search tool to find your polling place. Just enter your address to view hours, directions to get there, and see what will be on your ballot. Click here for more.

The above mistakes are the most common made on Election Day, but another faux pas is made by voters trying to cast their ballots early or remotely. Voting absentee is an easy way to make sure an unexpected event (like bad weather or a family emergency) won’t get in your way of having your voice heard. However, absentee voters have slightly different deadlines.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is 5 p.m. the Thursday before the election. For the August Primary, that’s Aug. 4. However, the Clerk’s Office recommends voters send their requests as soon as possible, leaving enough time to return them. All absentee ballots must be received in the Clerk’s Office in time for delivery to the polls on Election Day. Click here for more information on absentee voting in the state of Wisconsin.

Finally, it’s a mistake others can’t see, but don’t forget to do your research before showing up to the polls. Making an informed decision is important, and could impact how much you pay in taxes, what kind of education your family has access to, and more. Click here to find out more about what’s on your ballot.

And mark your calendar for the next election: the general midterm on Nov. 8, when Wisconsin voters will choose a governor, US senator, US representatives, and many other offices!


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.



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