Gov. Evers announces 400 Wisconsin National Guard troops to work polls

Gov. Tony Evers

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers says about 400 National Guard troops will be activated to plug any shortages at polls on Election Day, as coronavirus cases surge in the presidential battleground state.

“The Wisconsin National Guard has played a critical role in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and this mission is no different,” Evers said in a statement Thursday. “As Wisconsin faces an urgent crisis with more than 200,000 positive cases of COVID-19 across the state, the help of the Guard will be needed to ensure that election day goes smoothly and that voters and election officials alike have the assistance they need.”

Meagan Wolfe, who heads the Wisconsin Elections Commission, said Thursday that she expects there will be few gaps to fill on Election Day.

She says there is a shortage of about 200 poll workers out of the roughly 30,000 who will be staffing the polls on Tuesday.

She says the relatively small shortage is “fantastic news” and reflects the hard work of local officials to solicit volunteers and backups.