Wisconsinites Vote in Person Amid Pandemic After Supreme Court Ruling

April 8, 2020

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Voters in Wisconsin experienced one of the strangest election days in the state's history Tuesday, as thousands were forced to congregate in long lines to vote in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, the AP reports. In the days leading up to the election Republicans in the state legislature, on the state's Supreme Court and on the U.S. Supreme Court blocked measures to reschedule in-person voting for June and to move the election to all mail-in ballots. Voters who did brave Tuesday's lines were angered by the state GOP's unwillingness to postpone the presidential primary election as other states have done, and many felt the move was aimed at suppressing the minority vote. “They could have delayed the election with no problem,” voter Michael Claus said. “They [the GOP] decided if they can suppress the vote in Milwaukee and Madison, where you have a large minority presence, you can get people elected you want elected. And that’s sad.” Republicans in the state say the dangers were overblown, despite stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of the virus, but Milwaukee resident Megan Nakkula disagreed. "It just doesn’t feel like it was the safest decision to do. I saw a lot of elderly voters, people who were high risk and everyone is taking as many precautions as they could," she said. The Milwaukee area only had five polling places open Tuesday, as opposed to the usual 180, after hundreds of poll workers stepped down because of health risks. Results from Tuesday's primary are not expected to be announced until next week.