During an election best described as “out-of-control,” at least try and exert whatever control you still have Tuesday, April 5, in the Wisconsin primary election.
In this beautiful democracy, it’s tempting to be relieved that registering to vote requires jumping through a few hoops — maybe those who can’t figure out how to vote shouldn’t be able to choose a president.
But registering to vote is complicated as shit. Honestly, you probably can’t do it.
The worst thing you can do when figuring out how to vote is Google “how to vote.” At best, you’ll learn for the eighth time that you have to bring a driver’s license. At worst, you’ll revoke your own damn citizenship in protest.
We’ve synthesized the surplus of information available on the Internet into one simple guide to make sure you get a ballot, even if you’re not prepared to face it.
- Be from Wisconsin. Good job!
- Register to vote — you may do so in person at the city clerk’s office until Friday, or at the polling station on election day, with a completed registration form.Do not forget a proof of residence document. You probably have bills lying around — find one. If you live in a dorm, use a paycheck, bank statement, your bursar’s statement or check with the front desk. If you’re not sure whether you are registered, check here.Also — and this part sucks — being 20 days within the election means all registration must happen in person. That’s right, get out of bed — nothing online. Take the completed forms to the city clerk’s office by Friday, or on election day.
- Find your polling place — it will likely be a campus building close to your dorm or apartment. A cheat sheet for students in university housing is available here.
- Access one of six acceptable forms of ID: Wisconsin driver’s license, Wisconsin State ID, U.S. Passport, U.S. Uniformed Services card, Certificate of Naturalization or tribal ID. You cannot vote without an acceptable photo ID. Just like the bouncer at Nitty has told you, a Wiscard absolutely does not count.
- Have a panic attack at the polls when you realize you’ve spent the last six months reading about Donald Trump on Buzzfeed and have no idea who to vote for. Wait, what’s this about the Wisconsin Supreme Court?
- Check you registration status at the same link as all your Wisconsin resident friends — you’re not as different as they make you feel.
- If you are not registered yet, follow the same process outlined in step 2 for Wisconsin residents (do this form, grab one of these and go here).
- Visit the Union South Wiscard office for a free voter ID card, or get one at Gordon Commons April 4 or 5 on the second floor. A U.S. Passport, U.S. Uniformed Services card, Certificate of Naturalization or tribal ID is also acceptable.
- Print out or screenshot a verification letter from the Student Center. To do this, you will have to follow the prompts to set up a mailing address on campus. This letter and the free voter ID must be presented at the polls. The letter may be presented on a phone, and doubles as proof of residence when you’re registering to vote (see step 2).
- Polling place again!
Residents and non-residents alike:
- Go vote. There’s not much in this grand life we have any control over, and you have nothing to lose. Refusing to vote so you can “stand up to the man” is dumb and the man doesn’t care.But if you do vote, make a healthy decision, for the sake of all of us. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on April 5. Happy primary!