Voter Registration Resources
The League of Women Voters of the Northwoods (LWVNOW) initially introduced an innovative set of voter registration tools called the Voter Education and Registration Assistance Project (VERAP) to libraries in the chapter’s home counties of Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas. The tools are, however, available online for any public, academic or secondary school library that wants to set up a voter registration station.
The primary project goal is offering community members an additional location where they can self-register to vote and learn what else they need when they vote.
In 2019, WVLS provided all member libraries and the Marathon County Public Library branches with copies of the VERAP resource notebook, and two sizes of instructional notebooks linked below, along with quantity of How to Register and Vote brochures. LWVNOW relays periodic updates regarding changes to Wisconsin voting statutes resulting in notebook updates through WVLS staff to member libraries.
Downloadable tools include an Instructional Notebook for patrons to use at library computers for self-registering to vote, either online at www.myvote.wi.gov or via paper registration, as well as a Resource Notebook containing up-to-date information on the many questions voters frequently ask: When is the next election? Where do I vote? How can I vote absentee? Who are the candidates on my ballot? Who is my municipal clerk? What is an acceptable proof of my residence? and what can I use as my photo ID? A simplified Instructional Notebook can be adapted to sit beside public computer stations.
The Notebooks are available on the LWVNOW Voter Information webpage
- VERAP Resource Notebook (WVLS issued white 3-ring binder) Revised 08-2020.
- How to Register and Vote Brochure: Revised 09-16-19*
- VERAP Instructional Notebook, Online Voter Registration Instructions at MyVote.wi.gov (WVLS issued black 3-ring binder) Revised 08-2020.
- VERAP Simplified Instructional Notebook, How to Register to Vote on MyVote.wi.gov
*To print a reduced size copy of the brochure on letter size paper, choose double sided copy flipped on the short edge from print menu options.
LWVNOW, a chapter of the US and Wisconsin League of Women Voters, is a nonpartisan political organization that neither supports nor opposes candidates for office at any level of government. VERAP was inspired by collaborations between the Kenosha Public Library and their City Clerk’s office; and by the LWV of Milwaukee County, Milwaukee School District and the Milwaukee Elections Commission. The intent is to distribute VERAP tools statewide.
More Voter Registration Information
National Voter Registration Day. September 19, 2023. It’s an opportunity for community volunteers and organizations to spotlight educating and assisting voters who are not registered or need to update their registration to reflect an address or name change. Librarians do that all year long!
MyVote Wisconsin is a one-stop website for everything Wisconsin voters need to know about when, where, and how to participate in our democracy. Find information about election dates, polling places, what will appear on the ballot, voter registration, absentee voting, and how to contact your municipal clerk. In addition, military voters and permanent overseas voters may use MyVote Wisconsin to request and receive an absentee ballot online.
Bring it to the Ballot is the official website explaining what photo ID Wisconsin voters need to bring along to vote on Election Day. Find out which photo IDs are acceptable, how to get a free photo ID if you need one, and what the exceptions are to the photo ID requirement.
VOTE411 is committed to ensuring voters have the information they need to successfully participate in every election. Whether it’s local, state or federal, every election is important to ensuring our laws and policies reflect the values and beliefs of our communities. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters Education Fund.
Libraries Supporting Voter Turnout
Libraries Supporting Voter Turnout: Answers to Your Questions About the 2020 Election
A webinar sponsored by DPI and hosted by the Winnefox Library System on October 12, 2020
· Amy Peterson, Lena Public Library & Town of Little River
· Eileen Newcomer, WI League of Women Voters
· Krissy Wick, Madison Public Library
· Richard Rydecki, Wisconsin Elections Commission 608-261-2015
· Voter registration and other basic election information
· How librarians can support voter turnout
· Voter assistance websites and guides
· Wisconsin Election Commission resources
· Experiences of a small town rural librarian who is also a Town Clerk
· Municipal designation of libraries as person absentee and Election Day voting sites
Basic Advocacy Resources
American Library Association
- Library Advocate’s Handbook
- The Small But Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library
- Guide to Wisconsin State Legislature Website
Wisconsin Education Media & Technology Association
Wisconsin Library Association
- Calling your Legislators
- Meet with your Legislators
- Write to your Legislators
- Library Development & Legislation Committee (LD&L)
- Library Legislative Day
- 2020 Wisconsin Library Association Legislative Policy Statement
- WLA LD&L Legislative Newsletters for Library Leaders ********
South Central Library System
Winnefox Library System
Illinois Library Association
Additional Advocacy Resources
- ALA Legislative Action Center
- Every CRS Report
- The Congressional Research Service (CRS), a division of the Library of Congress, is Congress’s think tank, researching and compiling nonpartisan reports on a governmental issues. This site, with bi-partisan support, make these reports available to the public. Updated regularly.
- C-SPAN Video Library
- More than 228,000 hours of video (just about everything that has ever aired on C-SPAN), updated on a daily basis. Historical content includes debates, speeches, rallies, and more. Users can create custom video clips to save and share. Essential.
- Getting a busy signal when you call Congress? Here’s how to get through. the Christian Science Monitor (February 13, 2017 but still relevant information)
- About the Wisconsin Legislature – Follow the Process
- Advocacy Associates Blog (Congressional Advocacy Tips)
- Not Good with Elevator Speeches? Try ‘Taxi Chats’
- Wisconsin Council on Children & Families Legislative Advocacy Guide and Legislative Advocacy Toolkit Helpful Hints
- WVLS Libraries and Legislators Contact Information 2023-2024
Keeping Your Library Neutral
Keeping yourself and your collection politically neutral ensures that you are in good ethical standing and exemplifies one of the missions of libraries: to provide the greatest amount of access to as much diverse materials as possible.
Political Ethics: Keeping Your Library Neutral by Andrew Hart 10/19/2016
The article addresses ways of expressing bias, librarians as public servants, library ethical codes, evaluating your collection, and evaluating your library services (advertisements, displays, programs).
- Code of Ethics of the American Library Association.
- IFLA Code of Ethics for Librarians and other Information Workers (International Federation of Library Associations).
WVLS Libraries Transform Project
WVLS librarians are continuing to provide legislators serving districts that include all or portions of WVLS counties with opportunities to learn more about the way Wisconsin libraries transform their communities. Funding to support WVLS and its sister public library systems across Wisconsin is appropriated through the biennial state budget process. A new state budget will be written in 2021.
The Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) began its Libraries Transform! poster project in 2016 as part of the association’s 125th Anniversary, and as a vehicle for building relationships between legislators and libraries. WLA’s goal is to create and maintain a complete set of legislative posters for display in local libraries. The project is based on the American Library Association’s Libraries Transform Campaign.
Pictured are 85th District Rep. Pat Snyder with WVLS Trustee Mike Otten and T.B. Scott Free Library Assistant Director Laurie Ollhoff at 2018 Library Legislative Day.
The large library card featured on each poster includes logos from all the public library systems across Wisconsin. It is symbolic of the fact that legislative districts frequently include portions of counties from more than one public library system.
Completed Posters are available for these WVLS area Legislators: Representatives Edming, Felzkowski, Kulp, Mursau, Snyder, Spiros, Swearingen, and Senators Petrowski and Bernier.
Additional copies of each poster may be purchased for display at local libraries (a friendly welcome when legislators return for a listening session or office hours) for $20 by contacting the WLA office at 608-245-3640 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Send us your “Libraries Transform!” News!
Representative John Spiros
Senator Jesse James
Representative Calvin Callahan
Representative Pat Synder
Representative Jeffrey Mursau
Representative James “Jimmy Boy” Edming
Representative Donna Rozar
Representative Karen Hurd
Representative Cory Tomczyk
WVLS 2023-2024 Legislators Representing Libraries
IN CLARK, FOREST, LANGLADE, LINCOLN, MARATHON, ONEIDA AND TAYLOR COUNTIES
Wisconsin Valley Library Service
300 N 1st Street
Wausau, WI 54403