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Seniors: Want to Vote? Here’s How

By Annabelle Reynolds

In unprecedented times like the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to put thoughts of voting on the back-burner, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before. But the Nov. 3 presidential election is just around the corner, and voting is still important and possible!

You can register to vote by mail, online, at the municipal clerk’s office, or at the polling place. Legally, 17 year olds can register to vote as long as they’ll be 18 by this fall’s election, but the online platform myvote.wi only lets you register if you’re currently 18. Voters not yet 18 need to complete a paper registration form. This can be confusing, and if you have questions email lafollettevotes@gmail.com or check out @lafollettevotes on Instagram.

Once registered, you have two ways to cast your vote: by absentee ballot or by going to an in-person polling place. If voting in person, you will need to bring a valid photo ID, such as a Wisconsin driver’s license, state-issued ID card, or another document proving your state residency.

To vote by absentee ballot, you will need to plan in advance. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is 5 p.m. on the Thursday before the election. If they’re not mailed in at the proper time they may not be counted. To make sure that your vote counts, you can drop off your absentee ballot at your polling place on Nov. 3.

If you choose to vote in person, you can either go inside your polling place or vote curbside. If you still need to register, however, you must go inside the building. “I was given my own pen to use throughout the steps and had no contact with any of the poll workers,” said Lydia Burke (12), who voted on Aug. 11. “Everyone was masked and there were plastic shields in front of all the tables. It was very smooth.”

As this generation continues to grow, so do our voters. Vote. Make your voice heard. It really does matter.

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