Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

In this April 7, 2020 file photo, voters observe social distancing guidelines as they wait in line to cast ballots in the presidential primary election in Milwaukee. (AP) In this April 7, 2020 file photo, voters observe social distancing guidelines as they wait in line to cast ballots in the presidential primary election in Milwaukee. (AP)

In this April 7, 2020 file photo, voters observe social distancing guidelines as they wait in line to cast ballots in the presidential primary election in Milwaukee. (AP)

By Hope Karnopp March 5, 2024

Deadline to register to vote in Wisconsin isn’t 'less than two weeks' away

If Your Time is short

  • Social media ads sponsored by Voto Latino say Wisconsin’s voter registration deadline is "rapidly approaching" and "less than two weeks" away.

  • The deadline to register online or by mail for the April 2 election is March 13, which was less than two weeks away when one ad was circulating.

  • But the ads don’t disclose that you can also register at your clerk’s office by March 29, or at the polls on Election Day in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin holds its presidential primary April 2. That’s long after many states hold their contests, including 15 states on March 5, Super Tuesday.

But you might have seen recent ads on Instagram or Facebook that give the impression that Wisconsin’s primary is much earlier — or at least the deadline to register to vote in it.

"There are less than two weeks until the deadline to register to vote in Wisconsin," says one ad found Feb. 29 on Instagram.

Another post advertised a few days later on Facebook read: "Deadline rapidly approaching to register to vote in Wisconsin."

The ads are sponsored by Voto Latino, "a civic engagement organization focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latinx voters," according to its website

The nonprofit also advocates for liberal policy positions, such as paid sick leave and access to abortion.

But as some online commenters pointed out, Wisconsin has "same-day" registration, meaning voters are able to register at the polls on April 2 — which is well over two weeks away. 

Let’s clear up the deadlines to register to vote in the April presidential primary election in Wisconsin. 

Deadline to register to vote online or via mail is March 13

Voto Latino, which did not respond to an inquiry for this PolitiFact, seems to be referring to the deadline to register to vote online or by mail. Another video ad clarifies they’re talking about registering online.

The deadline to register to vote online or mail a registration form before the April 2 election is March 13 — which was, at the time one of Voto Latino’s ads was circulating, less than two weeks away.  

According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, you can register online or by mail up to 20 days before the election. 

If you have a driver’s license or ID card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, you can register online at myvote.wi.gov. 

Or, you can mail your local clerk a voter registration form, which you can also start filling out at that website.

But registering later at your clerk’s office, or at the polls, is still an option

But those two options, which have an upcoming deadline, aren’t your only chances to register to vote in the April primary. 

The Wisconsin Elections Commission says you can also register in-person at your local clerk’s office "up until the Friday before the election at 5:00 p.m. or close of business, whichever is later." For this election, that date is March 29.

Or, you can register at your polling place on Election Day. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. in Wisconsin. 

Just remember to bring proof of residence with you — that can be a driver’s license or state-issued ID card if it has your current address, or a document like a lease, utility bill or bank statement.

Bottom line: There are chances for you to register to vote all the way until April 2, or any Election Day in Wisconsin. 

Our ruling 

Recent social media ads sponsored by Voto Latino say Wisconsin’s voter registration deadline is "less than two weeks" away or "rapidly approaching."

The ads give a false sense of urgency where there really is none. Voters who miss the "rapidly approaching" deadline might be led to believe they don’t have another chance to register.

There is a March 13 deadline to register online or by mail. But there are two additional ways to register: at your clerk’s office through March 29, or at the polls April 2. The ads don’t disclose those options.

Our definition of Mostly False is "the statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression." 

That fits here.

 

Our Sources

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Hope Karnopp

Deadline to register to vote in Wisconsin isn’t 'less than two weeks' away

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up