The Political Rundown

Changes in the Wisconsin primary

The+Political+Rundown

Wisconsin is one of few states to keep their original election day amidst other COVID-19 protocols. 

Although Tony Evers has issued a statewide Safer At Home Order, in-person elections are still set to take place on April 7. 

This choice to keep the April 7 date was originally due to the local elections on the ballot. It would be a problem to postpone these elections because some involve the transfer of executive power, according to The New York Times

Yet, even with the current plan, there is going to be a postponement of results. 

On April 2, a federal judge ruled the in-person election would go on as planned, but absentee mail-in ballots will be collected through April 13 instead of the original date of April 7, according to NPR

This extension allows people more time to get their absentee ballot put together and mailed back, but it also postpones the transfer of power that made Wisconsin keep the original election date to begin with. 

Over the weekend, Evers called a special session to make more changes to the election, but Republicans refused the changes, according to WMTV

The meeting was rescheduled for Monday, April 6, just one day before the scheduled election. 

Evers is suggesting an all-mail election. This would protect the poll workers who will be putting themselves and their families at risk by working the in-person election, but it would also extend the deadline for absentees to well into May. 

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis in Wisconsin, Evers has been on top of closures and mandates that attempt to keep people safe from the virus. Therefore, the choice to keep the election as scheduled was a strange decision considering all the people who are forced to come in close contact at such an event. 

However, even while keeping the original date, Evers was advising everyone to request an absentee and vote that way. 

Unfortunately, that is not an option for everyone. 

To request an absentee, voters need a smartphone or other device that allows them to take a photo of their ID and upload it to the website. 

Apart from that, requesting absentees can be difficult on its own. 

I requested an absentee be sent to my parents’ address, even though I am registered in Eau Claire. When I did not receive my ballot within a week I contacted the county clerk to ensure that it had been sent and to the proper address.

Although I did not receive an email back from my clerk, I did get my ballot in the mail a few days later. This ballot had “second ballot” stamped by my name, so I’m left wondering what happened to my first ballot 

Everything we are experiencing and trying to manage during this pandemic is happening for the first time, nobody knows exactly what to do and things are constantly changing. 

If possible, do your best to stay up to date. Who knows, Wisconsin’s primary might be delayed after all. 

Kuchta can be reached at [email protected]