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Wisconsin will have to wait to see results of elections

Voting has never looked or felt different in the Wisconsin spring election April 7, as concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic continue.

“We’re getting a huge absentee voter turnout, which is good,” said Cornell city administrator Dave DeJongh.

However, as positive cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the state, as well as new mandates from a state and federal level come in, the election hasn’t been without its headaches.

“Well, this is changing hourly,” said DeJongh.

A federal judge had declared that absentee ballots would still be counted, if postmarked by 4 p.m., April 13. Not long after that, Gov. Tony Evers called for state Legislature to postpone the election until the middle of May.

Legislature refused and Evers then ordered that the elections be pushed back until June 9. The matter was not settled, as less than half a day later, the Wisconsin Supreme Court blocked Evers’ executive order postponing the state’s spring election, while the U.S. Supreme Court nullified the federal judge’s order to extend the deadline for absentee ballots.

In regard to absentee voting, ballots must be postmarked by April 7, in order for the votes to count. Therefore, results will not be in until after April 13.

“It’s out of our hands,” said Cornell mayor Judy Talbot.

DeJongh says the city is fortunate to have enough poll workers to man their posts, which is not the case even in some parts of the county.

Statewide, poll sites brim with personal protective equipment and are working to keep voters six feet apart while casting their ballot in person. Some voters are welcome to bring their own pen, while some have purchased pens for use at the site and to take home.

As for Cornell, a pencil eraser will be used to vote on the electronic screen ballot. Bleach, lysol wipes, masks and gloves are also on hand, with hand sanitizer outside the door.

“I’m trying to make it safe for our workers, safe for the public,” said DeJongh.