New developments could cause headaches for voter registration

SUAMICO, Wis. (WBAY) -- Less than three weeks away from the November election, people continue to register to vote.


The Wisconsin Elections Commission is asking people to use for information. Users type in their home address to find their local polling place and see the ballot.

But what if that search comes up empty?

Like many areas in Northeast Wisconsin, the Village of Suamico is experiencing a boom in residential development.

"We have a new development called Urban Edge," said Melissa Hongisto, Deputy Clerk for the Village of Suamico. "I worked with the state. I got them all the addresses and the state built that into the WisVote system for me, all of those apartments."

However, not every municipality keeps the state so up-to-date, and it is reflected in an error message when some new tenants put their address in the MyVote Wisconsin website.

"In order to register a voter, we need an accurate geo-location of that place so the voter can be assigned to the correct municipality and polling place," said Reid Magney, Public Information Officer with the Wisconsin Elections Commission. "Knowing the street address isn't enough."

The Wisconsin Elections Commission depends on municipal clerks to put new addresses into the system. Magney says there is no way for them to monitor all of the development happening across the state.

Magney says there is a quick fix for voters without a recognized address.

"There is a message that comes up on the website instructing the person to give us a call, and we can pretty quickly respond to those calls and get those new addresses in the system that then allows the person to register to vote," said Magney.

Online voter registration ended on Wednesday at midnight, so the best option for voters looking to register is to call their local clerk and have proof of residence handy.

"It's pretty easy to add the address and get them on there," said Hongisto. "Then, they can do it online after that."

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