Wisconsin GOP Forced Thousands Of Voters To The Polls During A Pandemic

Tara Golshan

Lines outside Milwaukee’s five polling stations — there were usually 180 — stretched blocks. In Madison, Wisconsin, polling stations usually occupied by university students were almost entirely empty, as resident halls were cleared out weeks ago. Poll workers sat behind Plexiglas barriers, donning masks and gloves. Some wore face shields and gowns. 

In one polling station in Madison, voters didn’t get “I voted” stickers after casting their ballots — a precaution poll workers took to minimize human contact.

Despite a statewide stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, Wisconsin held an election during the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday. As voters lined up at the polls, the state health department reported 138 new coronavirus diagnoses and 15 deaths. This election was not a democratic exercise, as it required voters to choose between their health and their right to vote. It is a poor omen for what awaits when November comes.

Evers tried twice to postpone the election. First, he called for the Republican-controlled legislature to do so in a special session, but they gaveled out the session in a matter of seconds without taking action. Then he issued an emergency order moving the election to June, but the Republican-allied judges on the state Supreme Court overruled that. The Democratic Party also sued to expand absentee balloting, but all five Republican-appointed U.S. Supreme Court justices ruled against it.

“Good morning and welcome to the Shit Show! Today’s episode has been produced by the Supreme Court and directed by the incomparable Speaker and Senate Majority leader duo. Buckle up, this one’s sure to disappoint!” Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) tweeted Tuesday morning.

“I thought of one other...

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