Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Vital Information College and University Students in Wisconsin Need to Know to be Able to Vote!

For release: Tuesday - September 19, 2023

  Image: Get Ready to Vote 

Here's what you need to know to be a student voter in Wisconsin.

Students attending one of Wisconsin’s many fine public or private colleges and universities are back on campus and NOW is an excellent time for students to do a “democracy check” to make sure they are ready to vote in Wisconsin.

About a dozen years ago, the Wisconsin Legislature unwisely but deliberately erected some barriers to try to limit the participation of college and university students in Wisconsin elections. But with a little bit of planning using the information we are providing here, students can overcome these misguided obstacles and participate fully in our elections to have their voices heard and their votes counted!

Current Wisconsin law stipulates that all voters must have a voter-compliant form of photo identification that they must show at the polling place (or reproduced for inclusion with an absentee ballot request). Students can look up their school on the lists Common Cause Wisconsin and Campus Vote Project have compiled to see if the current student ID at their particular public, private, technical and community campuses in the state is an acceptable form of ID for voting.

Three Things College Students Need to Do To Vote in Wisconsin

Here, students will find straightforward information on how to register to vote and which photo IDs are eligible to cast a ballot in Wisconsin. 

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: The photo ID students are issued by their public or private institution of higher education is not necessarily usable to vote in Wisconsin. At some public and some private institutions, the student photo ID issued complies with state law and can be used to vote. But, at other public and private institutions, the photo ID issued to students does not comply with state law for voting and an alternative photo ID must be obtained in order to vote. It is important for students to find out and know now whether or not the photo ID issued by their public or private college or university in Wisconsin can be used when voting. Don't wait until 2024 to do this. 

As of September 2023, the standard student ID issued at only five of the University of Wisconsin's 13 four-year schools and at eight of the state's 30 private colleges can be used as a photo ID to vote. Technical and community colleges fare better with 12 of 17 campuses having standard student IDs that can be used to vote.

Look up your school’s information and IF you don't have a WI driver license or one of the other acceptable IDs, know your options!

Note: you can use a school-issued ID for voting that has expired. If you do present an expired student ID, you must also present (or display electronically) at the polling place a separate, current proof of enrollment document, such as an enrollment verification form, class schedule or tuition bill. If the ID is unexpired, then you do NOT need to present proof of current enrollment.

As we have in past years, we will continually update this resource page with new information or changes as they occur.

Please share this information widely with anyone you know who is attending a college, university, community or technical school in Wisconsin!

Preparing now to vote in Wisconsin will make your voter experience go much more smoothly when you cast your ballot. Be a full participant in our critically important elections and in our democracy. Wisconsin continues to be a very competitive and closely contested “battleground” state in which each and every vote matters.

This includes you and your vote. So be sure you know how to be ready to vote so your voice will be heard and your vote will be counted.

On Wisconsin!


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

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

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