Voting Rights for Persons With A Criminal Conviction

Story Date: 
Oct 18, 2016

1.  Am I allowed to vote in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, you can register and vote if:
•    You’re a U.S. citizen;
•    You’ll be 18 or older on Election Day;
•    You will have been a Wisconsin resident for at least 10 days on Election Day;
•    A court hasn’t taken away your right to vote because you are incompetent; and.
•    You’re not currently in jail or prison, or on probation, parole, or extended supervision, for a felony (or for any treason or bribery conviction).

2.   I was convicted of a misdemeanor. Can I vote?
•    If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor (except for misdemeanor treason or bribery), you do not lose your right to vote.
•    This means you can vote even if you are in jail or prison, or “on paper” (on probation, parole or extended supervision) for a misdemeanor.

3.   I’ve been charged with a felony, but I haven’t been convicted yet. Can I vote?
•    If you have been charged with a felony but not yet convicted, you can vote.
•    If you’ve been convicted of a felony but haven’t been sentenced, you cannot vote.

4.   I am in jail. Can I vote?
•    Maybe. If you’re in jail for a misdemeanor, or if you’re in jail because you’re waiting for your trial but haven’t been convicted yet, you can vote. (If you’re in jail and you’ve been convicted of a felony, you cannot vote.)
•    Persons who are in jail and are eligible to vote, can apply to vote absentee by mail.

5.   I was convicted of a felony. Can I vote?
•    If you have been convicted of a felony (or any crime of treason or bribery), you can vote after you have finished your sentence and are “off paper” (off probation, parole or extended supervision).
•    If you’re not sure if you are “off paper,” ask your parole/probation officer.

6.     Do I have to get a pardon or permission from the government to vote, once I’m “off paper” for my felony?
•    You do NOT have to get a pardon to get your voting rights back. Your voting rights are automatically restored as soon as you complete your felony sentence and are “off paper.”
 
7.  Is there anything else I have to do to vote in Wisconsin?

•    You have to register to vote. Even if you were registered before you were convicted of a felony, you have to register again.
•    You have to get “photo ID” to vote.  

If you have other questions or concerns about your voting rights, “Like” Wisconsin Election Protection on Facebook or follow @EPWisco on Twitter and post your questions or concerns there.  If you do not have access to Facebook or Twitter, you can email questions or concerns to vote@aclu-wi.org and we will respond as soon as we can.  You can also call the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) at 1-866-VOTE-WIS (1-866-868-3947) or check out their website, http://bringit.wi.gov/

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