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Beloit City Clerk Advises Early Voter Registration, Brush-Up On ID Laws For Wisconsin Voters

City Clerk's Office -- Beloit, Wisconsin

Beloit City Clerk Lori Stottler says Wisconsin voters have another week to start the registration process online to avoid long lines at the polls on Nov. 8.

Being registered may not be a given to voters who only vote once in a while, perhaps just for presidential elections. That’s why Stottler says voters should check to see if they’re still registered, or even register again ahead of next month’s election.

“The registration lines tend to be the longest wait in a polling place most of the day,” Stottler said, "and that is because you have a lot of new voters or people who have changed their names or changed their address since they last voted or have been made inactive by the state system that they use for maintenance.”

Stottler says that could make for a stressful situation for unaware voters.

“So if you’re one of those that needs to go right at 7 [a.m.] ‘cause you start work at 8 [a.m.], you could chew up virtually most of that hour registering and then waiting in line for a ballot,” Stottler said. She says other peak times are lunchtime and 5 p.m.

Wisconsin voters can begin the registration process online though Wednesday, Oct. 19. After that, early registration must be done all within the city clerk’s office.

Stottler also says voters should make sure they have the proper photo ID needed to vote Nov. 8. Some acceptable forms of photo ID include a Wisconsin driver’s license – even if the driver has revoked or suspended privileges – or a military ID card issued by the U.S. Uniformed Services.

The Beloit City Clerk’s office says the acceptable photo ID to bring to the polls does not have to have the voter’s current address. If residents do not have a valid Wisconsin driver’s license or state ID, they can request a free one from a local DMV for voting purposes only.