Milwaukee's Charles Allis Art Museum served as a polling station on Aug. 11. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Milwaukee's Charles Allis Art Museum served as a polling station on Aug. 11. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Filling out an absentee ballot at your local clerk’s office saves several steps. 

The latest COVID-19 flare-up in Wisconsin can make voting in-person appear daunting, even risky. In light of those circumstances, this election has already seen record-breaking turnout for mailed absentee ballots. The number of absentee ballots cast is already more than double the number in November, 2016. Now the next option, in-person early voting, is available for those who cannot or prefer not to vote on Nov. 3 or by mail.  

In-person early voting is simply the process of filling out an absentee ballot at a local election clerk’s office or early voting site instead of having the ballot mailed and needing to mail it back.

Since all absentee ballots must be filled out in the presence of a witness, one advantage of in-person early voting is that a clerk or another official can act as a witness.

Ballots have to be filled out at the office or early voting location, then sealed in an official envelope that is signed by the voter and the witness. 

The trickiest part about early in-person voting is figuring out when and where it is happening. The state set the window from Oct. 20 to Nov. 1, but times, dates, and locations are set by each municipal clerks. The Wisconsin Elections Commission has a current list of municipal clerks or voters can search for their municipal clerk on the Wisconsin Elections Commission website, MyVote.WI.gov. Remember to bring a valid form of identification. If also registering to vote, bring proof of residency such as a utility bill or property tax receipt.