Wisconsin: State to hold more elections during pandemic as clerks scramble to ensure safety | Chelsea Hylton, Francisco Velazquez and Dee J. Hall/Wisconsin Watch
Tamia Fowlkes of Milwaukee was among thousands of voters in Wisconsin who reluctantly went to the polls on April 7. Fowlkes had voted absentee — like more than a million other voters in the state — but then helped her grandfather cast his ballot in person after the state Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Tony Evers lacked the authority to delay the election because of the pandemic. “We were the only state in the entire country to have an (in-person) April primary,” said Fowlkes, a UW-Madison student active in registering students to vote. “I don’t know if there was any way to make it safe, because it just wasn’t something that we should have been doing.” Last week, state officials said as many as 52 people — including National Guard members, voters and poll workers — developed COVID-19 after in-person voting, although it is possible they were exposed in other ways. That day, voters chose former Vice President Joe Biden as the state’s Democratic selection for president and liberal judge Jill Karofsky to join the Wisconsin Supreme Court. On May 12, voters in central and northern Wisconsin will again be asked to cast ballots during a pandemic, this time to replace U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy in the sprawling 7th Congressional District.