Milwaukee mayor says he hopes people don't go to polls during coronavirus pandemic

Milwaukee mayor says he hopes people don't go to polls during coronavirus pandemic

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) said Wednesday that he thinks Wisconsin's presidential primary elections scheduled for April 7 will put city residents at risk amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“I don’t think that it’s good public policy, I think it’s dangerous during a pandemic. “And I hope that people do not go to the polls on Tuesday," Barrett told reporters on a conference call, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

"As much as I want them to vote, I do not want them to put their lives in jeopardy, I don’t want them to put the health and safety of our poll workers in jeopardy," he added.

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Wisconsin has opted to move forward with its election even as other states have delayed theirs over fear of spreading COVID-19 at crowded polling places.

City officials have urged residents to request absentee ballots, which can be requested until 5 p.m. on Thursday. Voters can drop their ballots off at five locations across the city, according to the paper.

Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht said this week that due to the pandemic, there would only be 10 to 12 election sites open for in-person voting citywide election day. Usually the city has 180 sites that are open. Albrecht estimated that 40,000 to 50,000 people could vote try to vote at the polls next Tuesday. He added the city had already received 75,000 absentee ballots as of Wednesday.

At the moment, Milwaukee is still slated to host the Democratic National Convention in July.