State and local election officials said they have learned from issues that are primarily disruptive and are better prepared for the November election. But the two-week advance voting period begins Tuesday as the state’s corona virus case rates make records. Johns Hopkins University recorded 3,861 new cases on Friday, beating the previous day’s record of 3,743.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned Friday that Wisconsin is a Govt-19 “red spot.” “The cases are red, going in the wrong direction,” he said.
Beyond voting concerns over the corona virus, state laws dictate that counting of ballots that do not take place until election day cannot be counted until two days after November 3, when Wisconsin is one of two wars with Pennsylvania, where the number of absent ballots could delay the outcome of the presidential race.
The deadline for votes not in the state is also in the air. A federal judge ruled last month that postmarked ballots on Election Day could be leveled if Wisconsin comes six days later. But the Court of Appeals overturned that decision this month and ruled in favor of the Republican-led legislature, with Democratic groups appealing to the Supreme Court.
State and local election officials say they believe the measures they have taken at this time will lead to a smoother election, including increasing the number of polling workers in each district, keeping voters out if possible and providing security equipment and Plexiglas barriers to polling workers. .
“One big difference is that we have time to take the necessary security measures,” said Claire Woodall-Vogue, executive director of the Milwaukee Electoral Commission.
Registration of referendum workers
The Wisconsin Electoral Commission has insisted it is ready for election. The commission released a 126-page report last month, April First – assuring voters that issues such as long lines at polling stations and the high number of absentee ballots being disqualified or disqualified had been resolved.
One of the biggest issues in April is the long lines. Meghan Wolf, chief of the Wisconsin Electoral Commission, said the 2,500 polling stations used during the Nov. 3 general election will be open. In April, not all polling stations were open because there were not enough polling workers staffing them.
The commission is focusing on hiring referendum workers for Election Day, Wolf said last week, with only 180 workers out of the 30,000 needed in the state.
The state capital, Madison, has 6,000 signatures compared to 3,000 in the last three presidential elections, city secretary Maribeth Witzel-Bell said.
The city has taken a number of steps to keep its elections safe amid epidemics. Many places will be drive-through, with polling workers handing out envelopes through car windows.
“Screen wipes, envelopes and envelopes for ballot books will have cleaning and disinfecting pens,” Witzel-Bell said. “(Polling workers) will be close enough to the voter’s vehicle to hand over a voter envelope, but they will back off when the voter fills in his or her name and address.”
To vote in advance, Madison has set up locations that include outdoor options. In addition to the city clerk’s office and several libraries, voters can cast their ballots in three tents set up on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, at two outdoor polling stations on Madison College campus, and outside Edgewood College.
Milwaukee, the state’s largest city, has also expanded early voting. Unlike the primary, 14 seats will open Tuesday when Milwaukee voters will be able to cast their ballots at three early polling stations. The Commission purchased personal protective equipment for its poll workers, who will be protected by Plexiglas screens and will be provided with masks and face shields. Woodall-Vogue said there would be additional masks to offer voters.
As the line of cars waiting to vote in the early days lurked through downtown, the city moved from drive-by voting to a curbside system.
But some attempts to expand early voting have been thwarted by state law barring municipalities from adding new early voting sites that were not designated by the mid-June deadline.
This means eliminating plans to allow early voting in the city of Milwaukee’s professional basketball and baseball owners’ homes, such as the Fischer Forum and Miller Park. Woodall-Vogue said both stadiums were added to the list of voting sites in August in a bid to better allow social distance, but were removed earlier this month to avoid the risk of legal challenges.
In Kenosha, while some local activists tried to use this summer’s demonstration in connection with Jacob Blake’s police firing to increase voter registration and turnout, the city, which has about 100,000 people, only operates an initial polling station at its City Hall, said Michael Nelson, a city spokesman. Although officials planned to add two museums as early voting sites, they were blocked by state law because they missed the June deadline, he said.
Counting of absentee votes
Another reason why Wisconsin election officials are hiring workers in November is because they are likely to frantically schedule postal votes on election day.
Under state law, millions of ballots expected to be processed open at 7 a.m. on election day – a requirement warned by state officials that could lead to delays in announcing results.
As states across the country have expanded mail-in voting or in some cases shifted to elections held almost entirely by mail, many states have changed their laws to allow unprecedented votes to be counted – even in the face of Trump posting false claims. But that did not happen in Wisconsin’s GOP-controlled state legislature, which has clashed with Evers over electoral matters related to the controversial primary to several epidemics.
As a result, local officials say they are taking steps to try to quickly schedule absentee votes.
“Polling workers will call us at 11 and 4 on election day. They will let us know how many people have not yet attended,” Witzel-Bell said. “If they are behind, we will send additional assistance. We have a team of officers ready to travel anywhere, and will travel from place to place to process non-existent locations.”
‘This is ridiculous’
Wolfe said he believes there are not enough votes to ease taxes on election day. He said the government had sent 1.4 million to voters by Oct. 15.
Milwaukee voter Jennifer Duff stood in a large line at a polling station and linked Wisconsin’s April primary issues to having a handwritten sign declaring “this is ridiculous.”
Duff, a social worker at one of the city’s public schools, did not receive his first ballot and waited in line for more than two hours to cast his ballot.
This time, Duff told CNN he had received the missing ballot in the mail and plans to drop it in a drop box at his library this week. He said he did not trust the U.S. Postal Service to deliver his ballot, but thought Milwaukee had done a good job of expanding early voting and teaching people how to vote safely in the November election.
“You can’t go back without seeing some ads or emails about voting,” he said.