Voters in Wisconsin turned out to vote for the primaries on Tuesday, ignoring the order to stay home due to the coronavirus, a test for dozens of states that will face the disjunctive mass.
The lines were particularly long in Milwaukee, the state’s largest city and a Democratic stronghold, where only five of 180 polling places were open. Many voters arrived without wearing masks, as recommended by public health authorities.
The National Guard, and some Republican officials who resisted efforts to postpone the elections, were forced to help manage the polling places after thousands of poll workers resigned for fear of catching the coronavirus.RELATED
Dozens of boxes are closed, but the others opened at 7 in the morning. Voting centers are expected to close at 8pm, but no results are expected this day. Due to a legal battle to postpone or not postpone the elections, a court ruling seemed to prevent the results from being made public before April 13.
Hundreds of voters across the state, many without masks, waited in line to cast their votes at polling stations. Some poll workers wore masks, gloves, and what appeared to be surgical clothing.
The chaos in Wisconsin, a state contested for the general election, highlights the extent to which the coronavirus has affected politics as Democrats seek a nominee to confront President Donald Trump in November.
Joe Biden hopes the state will help deliver a final blow to rival Bernie Sanders in the nomination dispute, but the winner on Tuesday may be less important than Wisconsin’s decision to allow the vote. Its ability to carry it out in the midst of the pandemic could have significant implications for the following primaries and even for the general elections.
“It is a warning sign for November and a problem that states must take all steps to avoid,” said Wendy Weiser, director of the democracy program at the Brennan Center for Justice. “Americans shouldn’t have to choose between their health and their right to vote.”
Democrats inside and outside Wisconsin demanded that the race be postponed, but the Republicans and the conservative-majority state supreme court did not budge.
The United States had the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases as of Tuesday, with nearly 369,000, and some 11,000 deaths, according to data from John Hopkins University.