Tuesday begins the major presidential battlefield of Wisconsin; the State has a record number of COVID 19 incidents. Still, without worrying much, the government has opted for in-person voting. Though proper rules and regulations will be followed, the people are still confused.
This election was followed by the protests of the Democratic Gov. Tony Evers when the Supreme Court rejected his attempts to postpone primary elections. The US Supreme Court overturned a lower court, which gave voters additional days to return ballots by mail. The election resulted in widespread reports of issues with the absentee vote, a severe shortage of poll staff, queues at some polling stations for hours, and warnings of coronavirus spreading.
State and local election officials said they knew of the primary challenges and were well prepared for the November election. But Tuesday continues the two-week early ballot when the State’s case rates for coronavirus reports. The University of Johns Hopkins announced on Friday a total of 3,861 new cases, which just a day ago struck 3,743 records. On Friday, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned Wisconsin that the “Red State” Covid-19 had a growing positive rate. “The cases are in the red; they are going the wrong way,” he said. A State judge restored the order by Evers on Monday, banning personal meetings, while an exception for polling stations is included.
In addition to voting issues relating to the coronavirus, the laws of the State prescribe that no absentee voting may begin before the day of the elections rendering Wisconsin, along with Pennsylvania, one of two swing states, where the absentee count may erase the presidential outcome for a few days, following November 3. The State was one of the three countries in the Rust Belt, which in 2016 gave the White House to President Donald Trump and the Democratic candidate Joe Biden made a frequent stop of the campaign, including the visit to Janesville on Trump’s Saturday. Wisconsin saw a massive flood of absentee ballots return, as other states; Wisconsin residents, according to state Elections Commission results, had collected over 863,000 absentee ballots as of Monday morning.
The election commission released a memo on Monday with a personally appropriate vote that reminded voters who had already mailed ballots that they could apply to cancel or “spoil” individual votes and to vote in person at polling sites, provided the voting was done according to those deadlines. State and local election authorities believe that the action they take this time around would lead to smooth voting, with a rise in poll workers’ numbers in each district, a condition where electors are left outdoors as far as possible with security devices with plexiglass hurdles.
Claire Woodall-Vogg, CEO of the Milwaukee Election Committee, told CNN, “The big difference is we had time to take the security precautions which we wanted.” The Election Commission of Wisconsin has underlined its readiness to hold elections. The commission published last month a 126-page study reassuring the electorate that the critical concerns of April-long queues at polling stations and significant numbers of absent votes cast or excluded-have been resolved.
Long queues were one of the main problems in April. On November 3, all 2,500 polling places used during the general election in 2016, Meagan Wolfe, Chief Officer of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, said. Not all polling sites were available in April because enough poll workers had not operated them. The Committee concentrated on recruiting electors for Election Day, and Wolfe said last week that the State wanted just 180 members out of 30 000. Madison, the state capital, doubled the attendance from 6,000 to 3,000 at the last three presidential elections, the town clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl pointed out.
To retain its polls secure in the pandemic, the town has already taken some steps. Many places will be driven by poll workers who manage envelopes through car windows. Madison has provided areas with outdoor opportunities for early voting. In addition to the city clerk’s office and a variety of libraries, residents will vote on three tents housed at Wisconsin-Madison University, outside voting sites on two Madison College campuses, and outside at Edgewood College.
Early voting has since been increased by Milwaukee, the largest city of the state. Contrary to the primary one, where electors from Milwaukee could vote at only three early polling places, 14 polling places would be open on Tuesday. The commission bought personal protection equipment for its poll workers, which was covered by plexiglass screens and supplied with face masks and facial shields. Woodall-Vogg said that different acts would be required for voters. Another explanation Wisconsin electoral authorities add staff in November is that they presumably tab mail-in ballots furiously on election day.
Since countries across the world have raised their mail-in votes or, in some instances, have pushed towards an almost entire mail-out referendum, some states have changed their legislation to allow for early voting – even though Trump has made misleading allegations that mail-in votes are threatened. However, it did not exist in the Wisconsin State Legislature under the GOP, which is in contradictions with Evers on a variety of pandemic electoral matters after the competitive primary.
Wolfe said she expected facilitating queues on polling day, too, thanks to the significant number of absentee votes. As of October 15, the government had sent 1,4 million citizens. A viral picture of Jennifer Taff and a Milwaukee elector standing on a big polling station with the hand-written sign that said, “This is ridiculous, is the way to encapsulate the issues posed by the April primary events in Wisconsin. Taff, a social worker in public schools in the area, never had a primary ballot and was waiting more than two hours to vote in the queue.
This time, Taff told CNN that she got her absent vote in the mail and hoped to drop it out this week at her library. She said she did not trust the US Postal Service but felt it was good for Milwaukee to extend early voting in November’s elections and teach voters how to vote safely. “Without getting any advertisements or e-mails about voting, you can’t turn around,” she said.
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