Milwaukee's last day of drive-up voting draws hundreds

Posted at 8:00 AM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 09:26:01-04

As hundreds of people turned out to Milwaukee's final day of drive-up voting, many waited in line for hours to avoid heading to the polls in person on Tuesday.

All day Sunday, cars wrapped around several downtown blocks. Some said the line stretched from Wisconsin Avenue at Water Street all the way to the Municipal Building on Broadway.

"I wanted to make sure my vote got in, and today is the day I can do that," said John Zutz.

Many say the wait is worth it, as they want to do anything to cast their ballot before Tuesday. Election workers believe at least 3- 4,000 people could show up to vote in person in Milwaukee.

Norine Spurlock said she thinks voting from her car is safer.

"I don't have any contact with people," she said.

Voting technically ended at 5 p.m. Sunday, but hundreds of cars still waited in line. Spurlock said she would wait until she got to cast her ballot.

Coronavirus concerns prompted ten mayors across Wisconsin to implore the state's Department of Health Servivces secretary to stop in-person voting. This comes a day after the legislature adjourned before discussing the governor's plea to move to an all-mail election.

Milwaukee has drastically reduced its polling sites from 180 to five, and many other cities are also consolidating their locations. It's in part due to a poll worker shortage. The Wisconsin National Guard is being called to help staff the polls.

"Initially the troops will start reporting tomorrow to their county clerks and they’ll receive the training and get certified as poll workers," said Capt. Joe Trovato.

It will be a quick turnaround, but some voters believe all efforts are necessary to make sure the pandemic won't stop anyone from taking part in democracy.

"It's very important," said Charlotte Lewis. "I mean our votes matter, and this time and this season, with all the things that's going on, we really need to cast our votes."

Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

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