Many options open for voters

The election will narrow the candidate fields in races for mayor, 4th district alderman, county executive and president.

Early voter registration ended Wednesday at 5 p.m., but Wisconsin's same-day registration statutes allow voters to register the day of a vote at their polling location, according to Karen Knutson, elections services manager for the Milwaukee Election Commission.

To qualify to vote, students must be residents of Wisconsin, which entails living in Wisconsin for 10 days prior to the vote, Knutson said. So if a student is not registered yet, but would like to register, the student must go to their polling place with proper identification and register.

A student cannot register and vote in two places. However, students registered out-of-state can still vote in Wisconsin by re-registering as a Wisconsin resident and filling out a card which cancels their previous registration in another state at the polling place, according to Julietta Henry, executive director of the Election Commission.

Registration requires sufficient proof of residency, such as a valid Wisconsin identification card, a valid state driver's license or a recent (defined as issued within 90 days before the vote) gas, electricity, phone (cell phones included) or cable bill, Henry said.

Students living in residence halls who may not have the documents can bring tuition bills from Marquette addressed to their campus address or copies of their leases for their residence halls, she said.

Out-of-state students who want to register to vote in Wisconsin in the Feb. 17 primary can do so at the polling place on the day of the election.

Students who want to vote in the presidential primary of their home state have to contact the election authority in the county of their permanent address to request an absentee ballot, said Jamye Sims, election specialist with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Sims said Illinois' state government Web site lists election authorities for each county in the state, and said other states probably do the same. Illinois students planning to vote via absentee ballot must request the ballot by mail on or before March 11, five days before Illinois' primary.

The only catch in Illinois law about absentee ballots, Sims said, is that voters cannot vote via absentee ballot on their first vote in the state if they registered by mail. So if a person registered to vote in Illinois via mail (even if he or she was residing in the state at the time) and is a first-time Illinois voter, he or she must vote in person and cannot use an absentee ballot, Sims said.