Voters forced to decide to go to the polls or stay home

Posted at 10:41 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 00:14:01-04

Voters will have to decide whether to go to the polls or stay home Tuesday, as the Wisconsin primary carries on despite coronavirus concerns.

"I wanted to do the absentee voting, I wouldn't go to the voting place now," Jordan Byrd said. "Because we're shut down, workers are shut down. I don't understand why they'd have it a polling place."

Now Byrd will have to show up to the polls for his vote to count.

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked a plan to extend absentee voting because of the coronavirus. That means absentee ballots must be postmarked by April 7 or turned in at a designated drop off site on Tuesday. Otherwise, you must vote in person.

Milwaukee officials say they've received requests for about 92,000 absentee ballots, and they expect another 20 to 30,000 to show up to the five polling sites Tuesday.

"There are many, many people who have taken pride in being regular voters and they've done so for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years, and now for the first time they are making the decision they are not going to vote because of their health concerns," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. "I'm not going to argue with them. I'm saddened about that. We've tried to do everything, everything, everything we can."

Meanwhile, other cities and towns have been working day and night to make sure every election worker and voter is protected. In Bayside, they've installed plastic shields.

"You get to a tent where you can put on gloves before you come into the building, and then once you get into the building, there's blue x's on the ground with painters tape to show people where they should stand, be social distanced."

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