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Wisconsin Holds In-Person Voting in Midst of Deadly Pandemic

HeadlineApr 08, 2020

In Wisconsin, thousands of voters braved a statewide remain-at-home order Tuesday and queued in long lines to cast ballots, after the state Supreme Court blocked Democratic Governor Tony Evers’s ruling to delay the election until June. In Milwaukee, home to Wisconsin’s largest African-American community, just five of the city’s usual 180 sites were open Tuesday. Videos on social media showed lines of people, most of them six feet apart and wearing masks, lined up for up to two-and-a-half hours to cast ballots.

Wisconsin’s Republican state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos defended his support for in-person voting during a deadly pandemic. Vos spoke to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at a polling place in Burlington, Wisconsin, where he wore a surgical mask, gloves and hospital gown — more personal protective equipment than many healthcare workers have access to.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos: “Everybody is here safe. They have very minimal exposure. Actually, there’s less exposure here than you would get if you went to the grocery store or you went to Walmart or you did any of the many things we have to do to live in the state of Wisconsin.”

Results from Tuesday’s chaotic Wisconsin primary election aren’t expected until next Monday, April 13. Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden told CNN Tuesday that in-person voting never should have happened.

Joe Biden: “Well, my gut is that we shouldn’t have had the election in the first place, the in-person election. It should have been all mail ballots in. It should have been moved in the way that five other states have done it.”

Biden’s comment came just five days after he said Wisconsin officials should proceed with in-person voting. This is Joe Biden speaking last Thursday.

Joe Biden: “Having people walk into a polling booth with accurate spacing to six to 10 feet apart, one at a time going in, and having machines scrubbed down.”

Biden previously supported in-person voting during March 17 primaries in Illinois, Florida and Arizona. After headlines, we’ll go to Wisconsin for more on what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called “the most undemocratic” election “in the state’s history.”

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