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New coalition to ensure 'safe' voting during COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted at 10:30 AM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 11:30:37-04

As uncertainty spreads about voting during the COVID-19 pandemic, an unusual coalition has come together to "ensure that all Wisconsin voters have the ability to vote securely and safely."

It's being called VoteSafe Wisconsin and the effort includes the current Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul and former Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen as co-chairs.

There was lots of confusion and controversy over in-person voting in the April 7 Spring Election that lead to multiple court challenges and long lines in Milwaukee on Election Day.

Organizers say the goal of the bipartisan coalition is "to make sure voters have ballot access in ways both sides of the aisle can agree on, accessible, secure absentee voting and safe, in-person voting sites."

"Every eligible Wisconsin voter who wants to cast a ballot should be able to do so, safely," Kaul said in a statement.

Wisconsin witnessed an unprecedented number of absentee ballots cast in the April 7, an election that included a Presidential Preference Primary.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission reports 1,159,800 absentee ballots counted out of 1.55 million total votes.

So far, more than 700,000 absentee ballots have been requested for the Aug. 11 Partisan Primary.

November's election is expected to be even busier with the race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden in battleground Wisconsin.

"VoteSafe Wisconsin will fight to ensure that this fall as we continue to live through COVID-19, voters have safe and secure choices that we can all agree upon," Van Hollen said in a statement.

The Republican Attorney General served from 2007 to 2015.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and former Former Governor Scott McCallum are also part of the VoteSafe Wisconsin coalition.

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