Wisconsin Elections Commission discusses primary election during pandemic

As news on the coronavirus changes daily, the Wisconsin Elections Commission is trying to figure out how to handle the upcoming primary.

There’s some disagreement among members on whether it’s safe to hold the election, though they only have so much authority.

Moving the date of the election, moving these deadlines for online registration and moving the deadlines for accepting absentee ballots are all dictated by the state law. This comes as the state Democratic Party and Democratic National Committee file a lawsuit for changes to some deadlines.

Challenges still lie in the details, from technology to having enough absentee ballot envelopes for the surge of that type of vote and potentially exposing poll workers, typically older citizens who are more susceptible to complications from the virus.

Meagan Wolfe, an administrator on the commission, said she hopes other people will step up and volunteer instead.

“Our elections and our democracy really do rely on the volunteer work of elderly people,” Wolfe said. “So I think this is a really important time for Wisconsinites to step up and be a part of the solution to be a part of making our democracy run and also protecting our most vulnerable citizens.”

The commission said it will keep up on the news and revisit this issue as they need.

To request an absentee ballot, visit MyVote.wi.gov. Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. is the last day to register to vote online. Registration is required before requesting a ballot.

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