'I didn't know it was going to be all this chaos': Nurse arrives late, turned away from the polls

Posted at 10:21 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 08:55:17-04

At what election officials say was the busiest polling place in the City of Milwaukee, an estimated 5,000 voters cast their ballots. The site at Riverside University High School had lines wrapped around several city blocks from when the polls opened at 8 a.m. until the last voter got inside around 10 p.m.

Anyone who was in line at 8:00 was allowed to vote, but some just missed the cut-off.

Renee Bacon says she just got off her shift as a nurse and rushed here to vote. After looking for a parking space, she got to the end of the line around 8:03 but was turned away.

"I'm sad, I really am upset. Cause they've been saying so many different things about how we're supposed to vote, when to vote, and we can't do it now. They should keep the polls open later. I wish I had done absentee ballot or something, but I didn't know it was going to be all this chaos," said Bacon.

Earlier Tuesday, most voters said it took them around an hour and a half to get through the line, some waited closer to 2 1/2. Lachelle Jones said it was her duty to be here. "We got to do it. We have to do it. They tried to postpone it. It didn't happen, so, unfortunately, we have to be out here," said Jones. Inside, poll workers wore personal protective equipment and sanitized voting stations. Members of the Milwaukee Health Department were on hand to make sure voters were observing social distancing rules.

Voters that were in line by 8 p.m. were allowed to vote. Milwaukee Police officers were on scene to patrol the end of the line. Most voters were in the doors of the school shortly before 10.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip

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

Latest news and headlines here.