While many states have delayed their primaries amidst growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus, Wisconsin forged ahead with theirs on Tuesday. The state's primary election comes as many across the country are implementing social distancing and safety measures in order to keep themselves healthy during this health crisis. Since the state did decide to hold their primary on Tuesday, despite Governor Tony Evers attempting to delay it until May or June, many voters who have braced polling locations are doing their best to be mindful of social distancing.
According to Business Insider, voters throughout Wisconsin have arrived at polling locations armed with masks and gloves while attempting to practice social distancing. Based on several photos from scenes across Wisconsin, voters, who possibly have to wait in line for hours in order to vote, can be seen trying to keep a good amount of distance between them as they wait in line. Additionally, when they are able to enter polling locations, they're trying to keep a safe distance between themselves before they are able to cast their ballots. Since it was previously recommended that Americans try to avoid gathering in large groups at this difficult time, Governor Evers did try to postpone the state's primary. Although, Republicans in the state legislature refused to act in order to try to postpone the election or make it an all-mail in primary event.
Business Insider reported that just in this past week, a federal judge ruled against plaintiffs who were attempting to delay the election over an abundance of caution amidst this health pandemic. They also reported that the Wisconsin Supreme Court blocked Governor Evers' last-minute attempt to postpone the election to June, which he attempted to implement with an executive order on Monday.0comments
Even though Judge William Conley did not formally delay the election, he did try to extend the deadline for voters to return their absentee ballots from April 7 to April 13, as stated in his April 2 ruling. However, in a decision made on Monday night, the United States Supreme Court ordered, in a 5 to 4 ruling, that Judge Conley did not have the authority to extend this deadline. As a result, all absentee ballots must be postmarked by election day.
Considering the current health crisis in the country, many voters have tried to turn to absentee voting. But, many of them have, unfortunately, been unsuccessful in obtaining an absentee ballot. The Wisconsin Elections Commission reported that over 400,000 absentee ballots that had been mailed out had not been returned. An additional 9,400 voters who requested their ballots did not receive them in time.