TAA Voter Guide for the April 7th 2020 Spring Election

On this page:

Guidance on Voting and COVID-19

Voting Resources listed on this page are subject to change due to rapidly unfolding changes related to COVID-19. Please refer to the City of Madison Clerk’s website for the latest information. 

According to the Dane County Clerk, there are no plans to postpone the April 7th election. Polls will be open, but may move depending on conditions closer to Election Day. For high-risk populations, the City of Madison now offers drive-through registration and voting until April 3rd. We recommend to all other members that you request a mail-in absentee ballot, in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines recommended by the Dane County Public Health and the CDC. The deadline to register and request a ballot online is March 30 (extended from March 18). If you are already registered, the deadline to request a ballot is April 3. Please check here to see if you are already registered to vote at your current address

Registration Key Dates:

  • March 18 30: Deadline to register online [RECOMMENDED]
  • April 3: Deadline to register in-person at the City Clerk’s Office
  • April 7: In-person day-of registration available at polling locations

Voting Key Dates:

  • April 3: Deadline to request a mail-in absentee ballot [RECOMMENDED]
  • April 3: Last day of drive-through voting and registration
  • March 16-April 5: In-person Absentee/Early Voting in Madison

April 7: Election Day

TAA Endorsements for Spring 2020

Wisconsin Supreme Court: Jill Karofsky

Democratic Presidential Nominee: Bernie Sanders

Process for TAA Endorsements

During the TAA General Membership Meeting (GMM) on Monday, March 9, TAA members introduced two motions for endorsement for the April 7th election.   The members at the GMM unanimously approved the motions to endorse Jill Karofsky for WI Supreme Court and Bernie Sanders for Democratic Presidential Nominee. Endorsing a candidate allows the TAA to campaign for a candidate and allows PEC to spend their money to support a campaign.

The races listed below reflect races on the ballot in the City of Madison. To see the ballot for your specific address, please go to myvote.wi.gov.

Wisconsin Supreme Court

  • The TAA endorses Jill Karofsky. TAA did not issue a questionnaire to the candidates. 

Answers to other questionnaires:

Supreme Court candidate debates:

Madison Common Council Alder Elections

The TAA chose not to endorse candidates in the Madison Common Council election. We urge you to review the endorsements of the South Central Federation of Labor.

Madison Metropolitan School District Board

The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) Board is divided into seven at-large seats. Candidates must run to fill a specific seat on the board, however each seat represents the entire school district. Three of these seats are up for election on April 7th.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I vote while practicing social distancing due to COVID-19?

As of March 17, the spring elections are still scheduled as planned for April 7th in the State of Wisconsin. We recommend you request a mail-in absentee ballot from the Madison City Clerk’s Office, so that you may practice CDC-recommended guidelines for social distancing. Mail-in absentee ballots must be requested by April 3rd. Ballots must arrive at the City Clerk’s office by Election Day to be counted.   

Where do I vote? What’s going to be on my specific ballot?

You can find the answer to all of these questions at My Vote WI. Simply input your legal name and current address and the system will tell you if you’re registered to vote at your current address and where your voting location will be set up on election day. If the next election is within ~20 days you can even view a sample ballot, allowing you to prepare for election day.

What’s the deal with Wisconsin’s Voter ID law?

The 2011 Wisconsin Act 23 is a strict voter photo identification law that requires all voters to present a photo ID every time they vote. “Proof of identity” is not the same as the “proof of residence” required  when you initially register to vote. While what does and does not qualify as a valid photo ID can seem arbitrary and confusing to a first-time voter, there are resources that can help: the City Clerk’s Office offers a list of valid photo IDs that will get you your ballot!

Can I use my passport as voter ID?

Yes! Regardless of the address listed. 

My Wiscard has my name and photo on it. Does it count as a valid photo voter ID?

No. The Wiscard does not meet a number of requirements defined under state statute. However, the university does provide a free voter ID card to any student with a Wiscard. Simply stop by the Wiscard Office in Union South, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. This is among the easiest voter IDs to obtain for those grads lacking a Wisconsin-issued ID or a current passport.

Does my State of Illinois drivers license qualify as a valid photo voter ID?

Unfortunately not. Only licenses and state IDs issued by the State of Wisconsin are considered valid under state statute.

When and where can I register?

“Mail-in” registration closes 20 days before an election to ensure the City Clerk’s Office has enough time to get every registered resident on the books. But don’t worry if you miss this deadline! The State of Wisconsin allows Same Day Registration, meaning any eligible voter can register at your polling place the day of an election. Simply bring valid proof of residence to your polling place and trained election officials will make sure to get you onto the books. The City Clerk’s Office provides an exhaustive list of valid proofs of residence on their website.

If you’d prefer to register ahead of time, then at least 20 days in advance of the next election you can register online at My Vote WI. You can also seek out assistance from a trained City of Madison registration ambassador. Many TAA stewards and members of the Political Education Committee have received this training!

Do I need to re-register every time I move, even if it’s only to a new unit down the hall in the same apartment building?


What is the TAA endorsement process?

The TAA has a rich history of endorsing candidates in local elections as well as referenda. Early during the election period, members of PEC will reach out to candidates of interest in order to learn where they stand on the issues relevant to both graduate workers and our community. The responses received are used by the committee to make informed recommendations to the general membership for formal endorsement by the union as a whole. Members can also motion to endorse candidates from the floor of General Membership Meetings.  Once they’ve received a TAA endorsement, candidates enjoy publicity and a push by PEC to get out the vote.

Voting Resources in Madison

Register to Vote: You can find information about registering to vote at the Wisconsin Elections Commission MyVote site.

Early Voting on Campus: On campus voting will be held between March 29 to April 3, at the following times and places:

March 29:

  • Union South and Memorial Union from 10am to 2pm

March 30 to April 2

  • Union South and Memorial Union from 2pm to 6pm
  • Student Activity Center and Health Sciences Learning Center from 10am to 3:30pm

Early Voting Locations Throughout Madison: The City of Madison maintains early voting locations throughout the community, including public libraries. Please refer to the City of Madison website for more information on locations and hours.

Vote Absentee: You can request an absentee ballot by mail or email by April 3rd. More details are available at the Madison City Clerk’s website.

Vote on April 7th: Find your polling location through the Wisconsin Elections Commission website.

Past Voter’s Guides

An archive of past endorsements is provided below. Please be aware that these pages are no longer being maintained, and that external links may lead to moved or deleted websites.