voting in the time of coronavirus
While decked out in a mask, gloves, and full protective gown, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) said it was "incredibly safe" for people to come out and vote on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday morning, Gov. Tony Evers (D) issued an executive order to delay in-person voting until June 9, saying he "cannot in good conscience" allow any kind of gathering that would further the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Hours later, the Wisconsin Supreme Court's conservative majority sided with Republicans who challenged this, ruling 4-2 that Evers lacked the authority to unilaterally move the election.
Vos served as an election inspector in Racine County on Tuesday, and told The Journal Times as a poll worker it was mandatory for him to wear a protective mask, gloves, and gown. At his location, people could drive up to vote, and that offered "very minimal exposure" to others. "There's less exposure here than you would get if you went to the grocery store," he added. That wasn't the case everywhere in Wisconsin; at some polling locations, voters waited in line for two hours.
Vos was one of the Republican leaders pushing to make sure voting took place on Tuesday, despite the health risks. The race to watch in Wisconsin is between Daniel Kelly, a conservative incumbent justice on the state Supreme Court, and his liberal challenger, Jill Karofsky. The New York Times' Reid Epstein writes that if "Kelly wins, it would cement the conservative majority's ability to block any future Democratic efforts to change voting laws and litigate an expected stalemate over congressional and state legislative boundaries during redistricting that will follow the 2020 census." Catherine Garcia