Wednesday, August 5, 2020

What You Need to Know to Vote in August's Partisan Primary Election

For Release: Wednesday - August 5, 2020

Why vote in a primary election?

First and foremost, because every election matters.

Further, in the Tuesday, August 11th Partisan Primary, voters determine which candidates will be on the November 3rd ballot for local, state, and federal races. Depending on the race, the candidate that wins the primary, locks up the victory for that office in the primary election.

So please do not miss this chance to make your voice heard at the ballot box. You can vote via mail-in absentee ballot, in-person absentee ballot - “early voting,” or in-person on Election Day. Make a plan. Look over the information in this message to make sure you have what you need to vote in this important primary election, and share with others to help them be engaged voters.

The ballot: Wisconsin is an “open” primary state. Meaning, that Wisconsin does not require voters to register with a party and therefore, voters can choose their party preference on the ballot when they vote. BUT keep in mind when casting your partisan primary ballot, you only choose one party and you only vote for candidates of that party on this ballot. More information and details about this primary ballot can be found on our website.

Ways to vote: Mail-in Absentee Ballot

While you have until August 6th to request a mail-in ballot, we suggest you either vote on Election Day or "Early Vote" (see explanations below) because the likelihood of receiving and returning the ballot by the deadline are slim since we are less than a week from the election. However, if you have yet to return your completed ballot, do so NOW. It needs to be to your clerk by Election Day! If you can’t mail it in time, drop the ballot off at your polling place on Election Day or call your clerk about designated ballot dropboxes.

Ways to Vote: In-person Absentee Ballot (Early Vote)

If you’d like to vote before Election Day in-person, check with your clerk on locations and times that are going on now through the end of this week. Casting your ballot early minimizes lines on Election Day and helps with social distancing and staying safe. Visit your municipal clerk’s website or call them to find out about opportunities to vote early.

Ways to Vote: In-Person on Election Day

Prepare now if you’re going to vote at your polling place next week on Election Day, August 11. Be safe. Wear a mask. Social distance. Make a plan. Here are some things to know:

  • Registration: You can register to vote on Election Day at your voting location. Find your polling place at Being registered to vote means being registered at your current address. For the August 11th Election, if you moved July 14 or earlier, you must register at your new address. But if you move within 28 days of Election Day, which is July 15 or later, you must register and vote using your OLD address.
  • Photo ID: You are required to show a photo ID before you vote. If you have a Wisconsin driver's license or ID card, then you’re all set. Other forms of ID work too, and it’s good to check the official list at to make sure you have what you need.

Information on the candidates:
Get to know who wants to represent you and which candidate best represents your values before you vote. Find candidate and ballot information from the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin at Vote411.

Problems at the polls or casting your ballot?
Call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) for support from nonpartisan election protection volunteers with questions or to report problems. Voters with disabilities have the right to an accessible polling place. This includes the right to use an accessible voting machine, to assistance marking a ballot, and to voting curbside. Call the Disability Rights Wisconsin Voter Hotline for assistance: 1-844-347-8683. Both these phone lines are open now for you.

The strength and health of democracy in our communities, our state, our country depend on our active involvement. Get ready to do your part and go vote!


Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!

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