Wisconsin Held It’s Primary Election Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Wisconsin Supreme Court overules Governors Evers executive order to postpone election

Monday, April 6th, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued an executive order postponing the primary election, hours later it was overturned by the state Supreme Court. On the same day the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overturn a lower federals court’s decision to extend the absentee ballot deadline by six days. Votes will still not be counted until April 13th.

Many poll workers quit in an effort to avoid infection causing the original 180 Milwaukee polling locations to be cut to five. This lead to extremely long lines that stretched multiple blocks and for about 300 National Guard personnel to replace the polling volunteers who quit.

The thousands of people who requested absentee ballots ahead of last week’s deadline were not going to receive their ballots in time leaving them to choose between their civic duty and their health.

The Wisconsin state health department and Wisconsin Election Commission worked together to develop procedures for in-person voting. It included a public health worksheet for poll workers and limiting how many people could be in a location at once, as well as voters needing to sanitize their hands before and at the end of the process.

Wisconsin ballot includes the Democratic presidential primary, a state Supreme Court seat, and local offices.

Other states with April elections have either postponed their contest or moved to by-mail voting.