Voting: where to go and what to bring

Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the city today for the general presidential, congressional and state legislative elections.

Wisconsin has same-day registration, so residents who are not registered can register at their polling location (see map).

State statutes define a Wisconsin resident as someone who has lived in the state for more than 10 days before the election.

However, Victoria Robertson, election services manager with the city's Election Commission, said statutes also say residency applies to people who "have the intention of (a Wisconsin address) being their permanent address."

She said if students go home every free moment and think of their home state as their permanent address, those students should not vote in Wisconsin.

"Of course no one can judge someone's intent, but with students I try to make that point," she said. "The issue of intent is still there."

For students who qualify and are interested in voting, they have to prove identity and residency. Robertson said valid forms of ID at a polling place include: a Wisconsin state driver's license or a Wisconsin state ID card with one's current (Marquette) address, a utility bill (cell phone, cable, Internet, electricity or gas, etc.) sent within 90 days of the election, a signed lease covering the date of the election or any form of ID proving a person's name and Wisconsin address.

The Marquette card alone will not qualify for people living in off-campus housing because it cannot verify one's address, but it will work to verify identity.

Students living in university-owned housing who have not requested their address withheld from the student directory can show up with only a Marquette ID and register, according to Marquette's Web site, www.mu.edu/vote, and Brigid O'Brien, director of university communication. O'Brien said the university gave a list verifying the residency of those in university housing to the election commission.

A final option, Robertson said, is for a voter who cannot verify their identity or residency to bring in a corroborator — a person who can verify he or she is eligible to vote in Milwaukee and will attest that the person registering to vote fulfills residency requirements.

A student who is registered to vote in another state but wishes to vote in Wisconsin instead and fulfills residency requirements can still register in Wisconsin. Robertson said the state is "considered more of an open-registration state," but stressed "everyone is responsible for their own actions" when it comes to canceling a previous registration and not voting in two states.

Those who registered before the election do not have to bring an ID, but with challenges to voter registration cards and a recent agreement between the city and Republicans to check over 5,000 addresses the Republicans say are invalid, some people will be required to verify both their identity and voting address, according to Robertson and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Polling location information is also available on the city's Web site, www.milwaukee.gov, next to the "Vote" icon, under "Where do I vote?"