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Drive through voting

Wien town clerk has people vote while never leaving their vehicle

Necessity is the mother of invention.

When it became clear that Wisconsin would hold an election Tuesday during the coronavirus pandemic, town of Wien clerk Diane Drinsinger decided she needed to come up with some creative method that would keep both voters and poll workers safe from infection.

That is how drive-in voting was born.

On Tuesday, town of Wien electors drove their cars and trucks into the southern roll-up door of the township’s garage, showed their photo ID, washed their hands and were presented a ballot by Drinsinger protected behind a sheet of Plexiglass.

The voters then backed out of the southern door and entered the northern roll-up door. There National Guard Specialist Corrina Matis, a Marathon native, rolled a plugged in voting machine up to the driver’s side window. The elector ran the completed ballot into the machine, backed out of the town shed and went on his or her way. Matis rolled the voting machine back away from where cars would enter the shed.

Drinsinger said electors signed sticky labels inside their vehicles and the labels were attached to the election poll book.

The clerk, who doubles as chief election inspector, said drive-in voting minimizes contact between voters and poll workers. The point is to not spread COVID-19.

“Hopefully, it worked,” she said.

Drinsinger said she was not in favor of holding Tuesday’s election when COVID-19 is such a public safety concern. She said that she was worried for her own personal safety.

“I don’t like it,” she said. “It shouldn’t be. It really shouldn’t be. But what else are you going to do?”