Wisconsinites Have Right to Leave Work to Vote
WISCONSIN – October 23, 2018
There are only 14 days to go until the midterm elections and more than two-thirds of the states plus the District of Columbia offer some sort of early voting, which started on Monday.
Although some states do not have early voting in the traditional sense, within a certain period of time before an election they do allow voters to apply in person for an absentee ballot (without an excuse) and cast that ballot at an election official’s office. This is often known as "in-person absentee" voting.
In Wisconsin, in-person absentee voting begins the third Monday before the election and ends at 7 pm the Friday before the election day.
In accordance with Wisconsin State Statue 6.76, you have the right to leave work to vote. You must tell your employer at least a day in advance and you can take up to 3 hours of unpaid time. Your employer can set the time for you to leave work and no penalty, other than a deduction for time lost, may be imposed, according to the law.
If you do not register to vote ahead of time, you can register to vote on Election Day at your polling place if you have lived at your current address for more than 28 days. Be sure to bring proof of residence with your current address such as your driver’s license or phone or utility bill, or residential lease (same process and requirements if you’ve changed your name or moved). If your name does not appear on the voter list at your polling place, you must complete a voter registration application before you will be allowed to vote. You can Find Your Polling Place at the Wisconsin Elections Commission website.
If you cannot read, if you have difficulty understanding English, or you are blind or otherwise physically disabled, you have the right to receive assistance when voting from anyone except your employer or an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your union (§ 6.82).
If you make a mistake or “spoil” your ballot, you have the right to request a replacement ballot from election officials. You may receive up to three replacement ballots, according to Wisconsin State Statute § 6.80(2)(c). You also have the right to bring your minor child or minor ward into the voting booth with you, according to § 6.80(1).
The Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition has a toll-free hotline to call during business hours and polling hours on election days if voters with disabilities are experiencing any accessibility problems on election day: 1-800-928-8778 voice; 1-877-758-6049 TYY.