Milwaukee early voting sites closed over COVID-19 exposure concerns

APTOPIX Viruc Outbreak Elections Florida
Posted at 10:45 PM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 13:38:35-04

The spring election day is now just two weeks away and the risk posed by the coronavirus is already shutting down polling places.

Local election officials announced the closure of three early voting sites on Sunday, amid growing coronavirus concerns.

"Something has to dramatically change," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Effective immediately, the city will no longer be operating in-person absentee or “early” voting at the Zablocki Library, Zeidler Municipal Building or the Midtown Center.

"Due to increased COVID-19 exposure risk, the Election Commission can no longer maintain sufficient staffing levels to operate these sites in a manner that would ensure a safe or efficient public voting experience," officials said in a statement.

Registered voters must now request an absentee ballot online, a safe option that hundreds are taking advantage of. The mayor says it's time to ensure safety and fairness on election day as well.

"The way things stand now, we can not have a fair election because we are not going to have enough workers," said Barrett. "Either we go, which I think makes a lot of sense, go to 100% vote by mail or we are going to have to move the election."

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan said that it would be "reckless and appalling" to ask voters and poll workers to brave the coronvirus pandemic.

Milwaukee residents can request an absentee ballot online at or by calling (414) 286-VOTE.

Online voter registration (previously suspended in Wisconsin) will resume on March 24. For more information on absentee voting in the city, click here.

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