Wisconsin: ‘Your Health or the Right to Vote’: A Battle in Wisconsin as Its Primary Nears | Nick Corasaniti and Stephanie Saul/The New York Times
With April elections rapidly approaching in Wisconsin, local officials were issuing stark warnings about holding in-person voting amid the escalating coronavirus outbreak, saying the state was forcing voters to choose between their health and their constitutional right to vote. For weeks, both the Democratic governor and Republican lawmakers remained unmoved, pledging to keep the polls open even as other states postponed elections. But on Friday, as the coronavirus cases in the state topped 700, Gov. Tony Evers reversed his position, instead requesting that absentee ballots be sent to every one of the state’s 3.3 million registered voters ahead of its April 7 presidential primary. The sudden request to print and mail millions of ballots in less than two weeks, a task Republican leaders in the state immediately dismissed as impossible, is the latest example of how the pandemic is roiling democratic institutions as states across the country scramble to protect voters and poll workers.