Voting Rights for Persons with Criminal Convictions

Voting Rights for Persons with Criminal Convictions

Graphic with text, "Know your rights, voting rights for persons with criminal convictions"

1)  Am I allowed to vote in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, you can register and vote if:

  • You’re a U.S. citizen;
  • You’ll be 18 or older on Election Day;
  • You will have been a Wisconsin resident for at least 28 days on Election Day;
  • A court hasn’t taken away your right to vote because you are incompetent; and.
  • You’re not currently in jail or prison, or on probation, parole, or extended supervision, for a felony (or for any treason or bribery conviction).

2) I was convicted of a misdemeanor. Can I vote?

  • If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor (except for misdemeanor treason or bribery), you do not lose your right to vote.
  • This means you can vote even if you are in jail or prison, or “on paper” (on probation, parole or extended supervision) for a misdemeanor.

3) I was convicted of a felony. Can I vote?

  • If you have been convicted of a felony (or any treason or bribery crime), you can vote after you have finished your sentence and are “off paper” (off probation, parole or extended supervision).
  • If you’re not sure if you are “off paper,” ask your parole/probation officer.

4) Do I have to get a pardon or permission from the government to vote, once I’m “off paper” for my felony?

  • You do NOT have to get a pardon to get your voting rights back. Your voting rights are automatically restored as soon as you complete your felony sentence and are “off paper.”

5) I’ve been charged with a felony, but I haven’t been convicted yet. Can I vote?

  • If you have been charged with a felony but not yet convicted, you can vote.
  • If you’ve been convicted of a felony but haven’t been sentenced, you cannot vote.

6) I am in jail. Can I vote?

  • Maybe. If you’re in jail for a misdemeanor, or if you’re in jail because you’re waiting for your trial but haven’t been convicted yet, you can vote. (If you’re in jail and you’ve been convicted of a felony, you cannot vote.)
  • Persons who are in jail and are eligible to vote can apply to vote absentee by mail.

7) Is there anything else I have to do to vote in Wisconsin?

  • You have to register to vote. Even if you were registered before you were convicted of a felony, you have to register again. Click here for more information.
  • Most voters need to get “photo ID” to vote, for more information click here


  • If you have other questions or concerns about your voting rights, “Like” Wisconsin Election Protection on Facebook or follow @EPWisco on Twitter and post your questions or concerns there.
  • ·If you do not have access to Facebook or Twitter, you can email questions or concerns to lwvwisconsin [at] and we will respond as soon as we can.
  • You can also call the Wisconsin Elections Commission at 1-866-VOTE-WIS (1-866-868-3947) or check out their voter information center,

Thank you to our partners, ACLU Wisconsin for compiling this information.