MILWAUKEE — All 12 Milwaukee Public Library branches will be closed on Election Day, Nov. 3, the board of trustees announced.
Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., will remain open to the community and staff for limited services at reduced capacity. However, all the other branches will be closed.
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The historic closure allows library staff to serve as poll workers at the locations so Wisconsinites can vote safely in this year's election. With each library branch cut down to 25 percent capacity, MPL wanted to make sure they allowed enough space for voting.
“Milwaukee Public Library has a long history of supporting elections and helping to strengthen patrons’ civic literacy,” said Joan Johnson, Library Director. “We are expecting and planning for historic voter turnout in the City of Milwaukee. By closing these branch library locations for all services except voting, it will allow more capacity for voters without compromising safety protocols.”
According to a press release, the Milwaukee Public Library branches have a history of supporting elections, and this year they expanded that support.
They're now offering voter assistance at each location and have installed permanent, secure absentee ballot drop boxes at every branch.
Nine library branch locations will serve as in-person early voting sites from October 20 through November 1, and seven libraries will be Election Day polling sites.
For a full list of library branches and how they're working with the Wisconsin Election Commission, click here.
“The Election Commission is extremely fortunate to have Milwaukee Public Library as such a strong collaborative partner,” said Claire Woodall-Vogg, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Election Commission. “Thanks to the Library’s commitment, we have managed to expand voter resources in spite of the pandemic."