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Wisconsin votes despite COVID-19 risks

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 01:32s - Published
Wisconsin votes despite COVID-19 risks

Wisconsin votes despite COVID-19 risks

Wisconsin voters faced long lines at limited polling locations on Tuesday, as the Midwestern state's presidential primary and local elections moved ahead despite mounting fears about the coronavirus outbreak.

Jillian Kitchener has more.

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Drive-through polling… and long lines with people standing six feet apart - this is not how voting usually works in Wisconsin.

But the state’s presidential primary and local elections pressed ahead on Tuesday after a flurry of 11th-hour legal wrangling failed to stop the balloting despite a state-wide stay at home order.

In a sign of the times - free masks were available at a polling station in Milwaukee.

A curbside poll worker in Madison wore a face shield as she described the scene: (SOUNDBITE)(English) CURBSIDE POLL WORKER, ERICA HAINZ, SAYING: “We had a protest this morning… It was mostly in cars, people going in a circle around the block here, honking…” Dozens of normal voting sites were closed and more than half of the state’s municipalities reported shortages of poll workers.

Democratic Governor Tony Evers' had tried to delay the voting until June, but ran into fierce resistance from the Republican-led legislature.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court weighed late Monday, siding with republicans.

Separately, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal judge's decision extending absentee voting, instead ruling ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday to be counted.

Democratic officials warned that thousands of voters would be forced to choose between their safety and their voting rights.

After a late-night meeting on Monday, the Wisconsin Elections Commission said no election results would be released until April 13, the deadline for absentee ballots to be received.




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