Can I leave work to vote?

You would have to be living under a rock to not know that presidential election primaries are happening throughout the country right now. In Wisconsin, we vote on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. In addition to Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and the other presidential hopefuls, Wisconsin voters will be asked to determine the next Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The options for Wisconsin Supreme Court are Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg who was elected to her position in 2012, or Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley who was appointed by Governor Scott Walker in October 2015. More information about the two candidates can be found here.

Throughout the state, voters may see additional candidates for various positions such as circuit court positions, county supervisor positions and school board members. Voters can check here to find out what will be on the ballot and conduct research ahead of time.

Wisconsin’s Voter ID Law

Wisconsin’s law requiring identification to vote is now enforceable. This means, you will need identification when you go and vote. Acceptable identification includes a driver’s license, a military identification, a U.S. Passport or an identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin. 

If you don’t have an identification card, the state of Wisconsin will provide you with a free card. More information about acquiring a free identification card can be found here.

There are certain exceptions to the new law. Individuals who are in the military, living overseas permanently or cannot make it to a polling place because they are indefinitely confined, or live in a nursing home or car facility may not need to show acceptable photo identification to vote. If you think this may apply to you, click here for more information.

Leaving Work to Vote

Wisconsin law requires employers to allow an employee to leave to vote in a political election for up to three consecutive hours while the polls are open. The employee must request the time off before election day. The time off given to vote need not be paid time off. But, the employer must allow employees to leave.

Go out and vote on April 5!

For more information about voting during the work day, contact Attorney Leslie Elkins. For information about political candidates, contact Attorney Nicholas C. Watt.