By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Nov 03, 2020 at 7:06 AM Photography: Andy Tarnoff

After months of annoying campaign advertisements, several awful debates, one viral fly and approximately 27 breaking news stories a day about voting changes, political slap-fighting or places that were going to be used for early voting but aren't anymore, today's the day for your voice to ring out above the noise. 

It's officially Election Day throughout the country – including the battleground state of Wisconsin – and with the changing rules and locations, not to mention the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic adding an extra challenge for many hoping to use their voice in our democracy, it can feel confusing and scary figuring out where or when to vote, and how to do it right. Here's a brief guide to voting in this election – whether you're voting in-person the traditional way or dropping off an absentee ballot. 

And for more information and details, visit My Vote Wisconsin's website, which can provide personalized information and other resources. 

In-person voting

For those who want to place their votes the classic way – on Election day, in person at your local polling location – there should be plenty of voting locations as compared to last spring's primary election debacle. To find your particular voting spot, use My Vote Wisconsin's location finder or the Election Commission's website. All you have to do is put in your address and it'll find your poll. Remember: Keep six feet of distance at minimum between yourself and others, bring your own pen, wash your hands well before and after going out and wear a mask.

All polling locations open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. – but if you are in line before 8 p.m., stay in line. Photo ID is required, and regular voter registration rules apply, which means same-day registration is available at your polling location for those who did not do so earlier this election season. For details on the ID and documents needed, click here and click here.

Mail-in/drop box voting

If you've received an absentee ballot, with the uncertainty surrounding the mail earlier this election season, you hopefully got that in (fully complete with a witness signature and everything; be sure to follow the instructions) as soon as possible. If not, don't worry the Election Commission still has several secure absentee ballot drop boxes set up throughout the city, open until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

  • Atkinson Library – 1960 W. Atkinson Ave.
  • Bay View Library – 2566 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
  • Capitol Library – 3969 N. 74th St.
  • Center Street Library – 2727 W. Fond du Lac Ave.
  • Central Library Centennial Hall – 733 N. 8th St.
  • City Hall Complex – 200 E. Wells St. (on the east side of Market Street, between City Hall and Zeidler)
  • East Library – 2320 N. Cramer St.
  • Election Commission Warehouse – 1901 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
  • Good Hope Library – 7715 W. Good Hope Rd.
  • Martin Luther King Library – 310 W. Locust St.
  • Mitchell Street Library – 906 W. Historic Mitchell St.
  • Tippecanoe Library – 3912 S. Howell Ave.
  • Villard Square Library – 5190 N. 35th St.
  • Washington Park Library – 2121 N. Sherman Blvd.
  • Zablocki Library – 3501 W. Oklahoma Ave.

Do not mail in your absentee ballot; the Supreme Court ruled that ballots in Wisconsin would only be counted if they were received by  8 p.m. on Election Day, so putting your vote in the mail today renders it useless. Drop it off at one of the above drop boxes ensures it will be tabulated.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay patient throughout the night and even the next morning as ballots are counted and processed. With the number of absentee and early ballots this year, including those coming through delayed by the mail, official numbers throughout the country are expected to take a bit; this is normal and to be expected. And most of all, enjoy some sweet, sweet democracy, Milwaukee. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.