Last time on this blog: Normally, this is election season in which you’ll see general bids for the picks to be. And many will indeed go to the polls. Check this, I am a Election Inspector for the City of Milwaukee that has been in the game for 9 years. From those who are good and yes that had folks yelled in my face! Even the levels of questions raised up the bar. No matter if it’s a full day or a half day. For this also, it’s the part IV: the Local Judge/Mayoral/County Executive Race.  And the rules have changed slightly.

For this: ONCE AGAIN, ITS BACK! The Stephen’s Spot Rules returns. My tips, and my rules of the voting game in Wisconsin – PART IV! New Rules, Same Objectives.

First thing: When the day comes, the polls will be open from 7am – 8pm. Now there is a forecast of a low voter turnout under 80%. Give or take. However regarding this, already many of you or some probably voted early either by mail or in person at your City Hall Areas. But for you last minute voters: yes like many times before, you can still vote up on the day of Election Day.

Second Thing. When going, make sure you are at the right (and I mean THE RIGHT) polling place! If you’re not sure, the Election Inspectors (and or the Chief Inspectors) will help you to find the correct place to vote up. And if you are at the right spot, walk in to the rooms and when you come to the tables, state your name and address. And if your name is listed in the books, sign your name in the book to verify, and the EI’s will give you a ballot and a number.

By the way: AS OF THE RECENT RULING: ID’S ARE NOW NECESSARY! Only state your name and address to the EI’s (via the state law).

Third thing: Now since you have your ballot, look at it carefully. First  the ballot you’ll see is totally different. For this ballot coming up and it’s a  Primary,  and it’s a non- partisan ballot – meaning for this is that it’s a one sided ballot that you can only vote for  candidate in the selected of Mayor, County Executive, Judge and Alderman District Leader of whatever district you live in.  More on that later on. After that has been done, you take your ballot and insert into the machine and you will receive your I Voted Sticker.

Speaking of the New Rule of ID’s: Here is a listing of what you will need to get in order to vote. Courtesy of the Milwaukee County Election Commission.

 

NOTE: Now there might be barriers. So listen up if you might encounter them. 

If you show up at the polls, and if you state your name, and if your name is NOT in the books: chances are the EI’s might ask you the question: “When was the last time you voted?” The reason being if you haven’t voted in Wisconsin in the last 5 years per say, you need to re-register on site. When you re-register: fill out the forms provided, with your current name, address, city, state and zip. And of course you have to certify that you are of age, no felonies, no convictions, lived at your residence for at least 28 days, etc. Plus also when providing your info: you could also use your Wisconsin Drivers License or State ID Number or your last 4 digits of your Social to register. Plus other listings of Proof of Residence like a Utility Bill, your Government License, College Students that have an official letter from their College or University, and many others. Don’t worry, the Polling Places will have a listing of what you need to register or re-register.

Just a side note: If your ID has been expired or revoked since November of 2014, and it still has your CURRENT name, address, city, state, zip code on it as it was since at the time before it got expire or suspended, YES you can use that to vote!

Speaking of Proof of Residence: Here is a full listing of what you’ll need when or if registering, or re-registering via the City of Milwaukee Election Commission:

  • A current and valid Wisconsin Driver License or a current and valid Wisconsin Identification Card.
  • Any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit.  Examples: A DNR-issued fishing license, hazardous materials handling license, conceal carry license.
  • Any identification card issued by an employer in the normal course of business and bearing a photo of the card holder, but not including a business card.
  • A residential lease that is effective for a period that includes the date of voter registration*.
  • A real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year or the year preceding the date of the election*.
  • A utility bill for the period beginning 90 days or less before the date of registration; includes electric, gas, water or sewer bills  (name must appear on the bill); cable (including satellite) or internet bills; phone bills (including cellular)*.
  • bank statement*.
  • A paycheck.  Example: A paycheck when it is an actual check or a record of direct deposit. A check stub*.
  • A check or other document/official correspondence issued by a unit of government. Examples: Medicare or BadgerCare Plus notices and explanation of benefits (not private health insurance or third party providers); SSI notices; Wisconsin motor vehicle registrations; public high school, state university and technical college documents; Wisconsin Works; Wisconsin Shares; correspondence, notices or other paperwork from any government agency; tax refund checks; public library correspondence or records; court notices and paperwork; police reports.
  • An identification card (must include photo) issued by a university, college, or technical college ONLY if the voter provides a fee receipt dated within the last nine (9) months*.  Example: A student ID and a copy of tuition receipt from the Bursar’s office.
  • An affidavit for homeless voters.  Example: A letter from a shelter or other organization providing services to the homeless. The letter identifies the individual and describes the location designated as the person’s residence for voting purposes. The identification letter should be on letterhead and signed by a person affiliated with the social services organization.

*Note that electronic versions of these documents, where available, are also acceptable.

Also, if you recently moved to a new place and your name is again not in the books, you might have to check your old polling area to see if your name is in those books. Or if the districts have been changed, it is best to notify either the Election Commission or any of the polling sites have those red books that you’ll see with the EI’s and Chiefs. And just a positive note: for those that use the Internet, go to the GAB website, and when you see the MyVote link, click on that and sign in on the site to get your polling place, ballot status, etc.

If your name has changed due to misspelling or if you got married, or changed it for religious reasons, government reasons, or if your neighbor near you who was a voter for amount of years that recently passed, the EI’s will have a Correction Form with them in which you the voter will verify the changes either in address, name, or deceased.

If you are a convicted felon: PLEASE PAY ATTENTION ON THIS! 

If you’re name is on paper and if you are still finishing your parole, you can’t vote. HOWEVER, if you’re name is off paper, yes you can vote.

CALLOUT: Don’t “TWEET” YOUR BALLOT!In 2012: the State of Wisconsin warned us about “Tweeting Ballots”. Here’s what I know. If you snap a picture of your ballot that is a sample or unmarked, it’s valid. HOWEVER if it’s already snapped and you made your choices to show it off, you’re asking for jail time and/or pay a fine. Votes should be private all the way. Even in the era of social media. So Facebookers, Twitter folks, Googlers in all, don’t even try it. However, you can snap a pic of your I Voted Sticker!

Plus: for those who will work during the voting hours, you can get some time off the clock so you can go vote. Tell your bosses ahead of time and get your I Voted Sticker as proof!

When marking the new ballots, you can use pens! Yes!!!! Or the markers that the Polls will supply. But the procedures stay the same. For this, you can circle in the choices like you used to do with those Iowa Test Answer sheets way back in school. And the new Machines you’ll see have a new twist when you insert the ballots. If any one in the state, doesn’t know what I’m talking about, look at this clip:

 

When marking the ballots of your choice, and after you insert it into the new machine, it will scan it for you, and if you got all the circles filled in, your ballot will count. There will be on-Screen instructions for you to select. But however there might be issues: If your ballot has different selections of check marks, X’s or the circle may not be filled in all the way, it will indicate on the screen that your ballot might not be counted.  But if you choose the ballot as it is, with the mistakes, you can use that to count it. And again when you put the ballot in the machine (if it all goes well) then you get your sticker. Just a heads up: you only get 3 tries. If you fail all three times, its done. But if you get it right on the second or last try, you’re safe. So it’s best to get the ballots right on the first try!

If your name is in the book, and if you have the word “Absentee” near it, the EI’s will tell you that it’s noted and will ask if you used it previously. If you did, that counts as a vote for that day. But: if you haven’t used it, but still wanted to use the regular ballots, what the EI’s and Chief Inspectors will do in this situation is take your Absentee Ballot, and exchange it for a regular ballot. Plus you might sign your name in the books. The absentee ballots will be soiled or in this case they’ll rip it up. For the POR’s you might to provide additional info like a WI DL Number to verify.

And also in some circumstances: having a witness could be a vital factor of proof.

For the handicapped: it is vital that they receive the real deal voting as much as every other voter.

Also: if the ending of the voting hours around 8pm occurs, and if you’re in line: you can still vote! Remember, everyone’s right of voting counts.

Now since the finals are in April and whoever wins that will be declared the victor.

So again Wisconsin folks, Again, I know we’re polarized with politics. But one thing for sure, we all have a right to vote for whomever we want to steer the offices. Even if you don’t like the viewpoints of Scott Walker or Bob Donovan or maybe Mayor Tom Barrett would get another 4 years. Or whatever. And if those feel that this election doesn’t mean nothing to sit at home, worrying about your paycheck, or your hairstyle, or your new CD with the banging beats, or your new Gun Permit CCW License that you got, those things might make your voting opposition even worse even if you don’t vote.

CALLOUT: By the way, for those who you know very well that got those Lyft Cars, or Uber Cars and you know them that uses their vehicles for going from point A to point B and being paid for it, use that. For all you Wisconsin Uber and Lyft Drivers: if you have any Election Day Driving specials(and I mean ANY DRIVING SPECIALS)  going on like “I’ll Uber you to the polls”, or “Lyfting you to the polls” specials, start advertising that NOW! I don’t care how much you charge, just help those who can’t get to the polls on their own. 

So in conclusion: Get OUT and Vote Up February 16th!

Any additional info can be summarized here:

Bring It To The Ballot

Government Accountability Board 

 

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