The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) is charged with oversight of Wisconsin's campaign finance, elections, ethics, and lobbying laws.
The mission of the Board is to ensure accountability in government by enforcing ethics and lobbying laws and to enhance representative democracy by ensuring the integrity of the electoral process. To carry out this mission, the G.A.B. and its staff direct their energies toward providing for an informed electorate. The G.A.B. is a source of information about the election process and the activities and finances of candidates for public office. The Board uses information technology and the Internet to make information readily available to the public about the financing of political campaigns, elections, lobbying, and financial interests of public officials.
The Voter Information Center on the GAB site — Welcome, Wisconsin Voters! Everything you need to know about voting starts here!
On September 17, 2012, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board launched the new voter services website called My Vote Wisconsin, which replaces the system formerly known as Voter Public Access and its functions.
My Vote Wisconsin is an online tool and resource where electors can register to vote, change their voter registration, and complete an absentee ballot request. Electors can also get voting information, such as election and polling place location information, sample ballots, clerk and office holder information, absentee ballot status, voting history, and provisional ballot status.
Along with other voter information and resources, the new site will permit military and permanent overseas voters to apply for and receive the appropriate ballot for their voting jurisdiction online.
Electors who cannot find registration information about themselves in My Vote Wisconsin should contact the appropriate office to make sure they are properly registered to vote. Electors are required to be registered to vote in the municipality where they reside in order to vote in that same municipality.
Launched by the national League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) in October of 2006, VOTE411.org is a "one-stop-shop" for election-related information. It provides nonpartisan information to the public with both general and state-specific information on the following aspects of the election process:
- Absentee ballot information
- Ballot measure information (where applicable)
- Early voting options (where applicable)
- Election dates
- Factual data on candidates in various federal, state and local races
- General information on such topics as how to watch debates with a critical eye
- ID requirements
- Polling place locations
- Registration deadlines
- Voter qualifications
- Voter registration forms
- Voting machines
An important component of VOTE411.org is the polling place locator, which enables users to type in their address and retrieve the poll location for the voting precinct in which that address is located. The League has found that this is among the most sought after information in the immediate days leading up to, and on, Election Day.
The Ask. Learn. Vote! initiative is coordinated and managed by the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health. This initiative was developed as a collective effort to help Wisconsin women appreciate their opportunity to make a difference through their vote. This effort is a 501 c3, nonpartisan effort that simply helps women be equipped to be an informed voter this fall. The site includes:
- Sample questions to ask your candidate
- Voting records of state legislators
- List of candidates running for office
- Links to candidates’ social media sites
Wisconsin Vote is a service of Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio and is updated during election season. Content for this website comes from WPT and WPR broadcasts as well as other state and national news and information sources.
Project Vote Smart was born of an awareness of the changing character and conduct of politicians and political campaigns over the course of the past few decades. Political leaders of both parties—Ford, Carter, Goldwater, McGovern, Frenzel, Leach, Ferraro, Proxmire, Hatfield etc.—and members of groups like the League of Women Voters, Common Cause and the American Taxpayers Union, along with third party leaders like the Libertarian, Green and Natural Law Parties have recognized that "factions" are more able to twist truth and effectively frustrate the people's ability to be informed.
A remedy was required, so Project Vote Smart's founders created a process that remains at the heart of Project Vote Smart today: an attempt to acquire from each candidate, with or without their cooperation, a detailed application of employment. Since campaigns are essentially a candidate’s application for employment, Project Vote Smart works to gather the same kind of information that an employer would insist upon from a job applicant:
- Background and education (from both the political candidate’s own words, and from secondary sources).
- References (research the people/groups funding campaigns).
- Evaluations of previous work experience (investigate and collect information from the over 300 conservative-to-liberal special interests who do evaluations of a candidate’s performance as it applies to the organization’s selfish interests).
- Previous job performance (collect voting records and categorize them by subject).
- Applicant interviews about the work they will be expected to perform (interview the candidate on the issues that polls have shown are of interest to their employers (the voters) and that would most likely confront the applicant if hired (elected); also measure the degree to which a candidate refuses to provide such information—an attitude unique to applicants for political positions and amazingly acceptable to those hiring them).