Another In-Person Election On Track For Next Month In Northern Wisconsin, Despite Virus Concerns

Apr 8, 2020

Poll worker Mary Grieco prepares to greet voters in Rhinelander on Tuesday.
Credit Ben Meyer/WXPR

  

In-person voting across northern Wisconsin could happen again next month, unless state government alters the scheduled congressional special election.

On Tuesday, legislative and legal battles ended with voters going to the polls in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.  That could occur again on May 12, unless something changes.

Republican Tom Tiffany faces Democrat Tricia Zunker in the race to fill the seat of Congressman Sean Duffy, who resigned last year.

Six months ago, Gov. Tony Evers set the election date for May 12.

Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe says her agency has been preparing for that election like normal.

“Ballots for the 7th Congressional have already gone out.  That election is already underway.  The statutory deadline to send out ballots is 47 days prior to the election, so that election is also in progress,” said Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe.

If in-person voting goes forward on May 12, coronavirus concerns might be similar to those faced on Tuesday.

Wolfe said the commission plans to use its experience to help cities, villages, and towns with voting again.

“We certainly will be here to support them in the 7th Congressional and to make sure they have all of the resources, and information, and even lessons learned from April 7, [so] that we can make sure we augment to support them for the May 12 7th Congressional special election,” she said.

Statewide absentee ballot requests for the April 7 election topped 1.3 million.  Absentee requests for May 12 are also higher than normal.