Wisconsin experiences long lines at limited voting locations amid pandemic
Long voting lines are being reported in Wisconsin a day after the state Supreme Court blocked Gov. Tony Evers (D) from canceling in-person voting for the state’s primary Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Every state or territory that was scheduled to hold a primary in April has either moved completely to by-mail ballots or postponed until a later date, except for Wisconsin.
Polls are open but are operating at an extremely reduced capacity. In Milwaukee, the state’s largest metropolitan area, only five polling places are open; the city usually has 180.
The line of voters is growing outside Riverside University High School.
This is one of five voting locations open to the public on this #ElectionDay pic.twitter.com/YMbpC4eGBI
— Ryan Jenkins (@RyanJenkins_TV) April 7, 2020
The state has so few poll workers that it mobilized 300 National Guard members to work the polls, CNN reported.
On Tuesday morning, Wisconsin’s Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes called the primary a “shit show” in a tweet, putting the blame on the state’s Assembly Speaker and Senate majority leader, both Republicans.
Good morning and welcome to the Shit Show! Today’s episode has been produced by the Supreme Court and directed by the incomparable Speaker and Senate Majority leader duo.
Buckle up, this one’s sure to disappoint!
— Mandela Barnes (@TheOtherMandela) April 7, 2020
Later Monday night, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that the state could not count any mail-in ballot that was postmarked after its primary election date, April 7.
The Supreme Court’s decision overturned a lower state court’s decision to allow in-mail ballots to be accepted until April 13, a week from Tuesday.
This caused Tuesday’s election in the Badger State to return largely to the status quo, despite the fact that the state has reported 2,440 confirmed cases of the virus and 83 related deaths, according to The New York Times.
But election results won’t be available until April 13, the Wisconsin Elections Commission announced on Tuesday.
In the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, THIS is the line for in person voting as the polls open for Election Day in Wisconsin. #COVID19 #ElectionDay pic.twitter.com/WplsSHy9RF
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) April 7, 2020
Evers had initially said that he didn’t have the power as governor to unilaterally cancel the election, but on Monday changed course and issued an executive order canceling in-person voting. GOP lawmakers in the state quickly called on the state Supreme Court — where Republicans have the majority — to block Evers’s order. The state Supreme Court promptly did so, halting the order in a 4-2 vote along party lines.
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