(Reuters) – At least seven individuals contracted the coronavirus throughout Wisconsin’s main election on April 7, Milwaukee well being officers mentioned on Tuesday, confirming fears that holding in-person voting in the course of the well being disaster put individuals in danger.
FILE PHOTO: Voter Matt Phillips feeds his accomplished poll right into a counting machine inside a polling station at Hamilton High School in the course of the presidential main election, held amid the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) outbreak, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Acker/File Photo
The seven cases embrace six voters and one ballot employee in Milwaukee, the state’s largest metropolis, the place almost 200 voting places have been pared again to 5 and there have been hours-long strains to solid ballots, the workplace of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik confirmed.
The variety of election-related infections might develop because the 14-day incubation interval ends on Wednesday, well being officers mentioned.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Milwaukee had 1,697 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness attributable to the brand new coronavirus, and 92 deaths associated to the virus. Wisconsin had four,620 confirmed cases and 242 deaths total, in accordance to metropolis and state information.
Democratic Governor Tony Evers, who declared a state of emergency on March 12, tried to delay the April 7 election or transfer all voting to mail-in ballots. But courts sided with the Republican-controlled state legislature to maintain in-person voting.
Democrats within the U.S. Congress have known as for laws to ramp up using mail-in voting, automated voter registration and early voting in November’s normal election amid coronavirus issues.
President Donald Trump and plenty of of his fellow Republicans oppose such measures. Trump has mentioned that mail-in voting is “very dangerous” and might lead to fraud. He has acknowledged he solid an absentee poll by mail final month in Florida’s Republican main.
Election consultants say that whereas there may be extra fraud in mail-in voting than in-person voting, election fraud stays uncommon total.
Ohio will maintain its rescheduled main elections subsequent week, with voting executed principally by mail. Kansas has canceled in-person voting for its May 2 primaries and moved to a mail-in system.
Nebraska, Idaho and Oregon are amongst states with main elections in mid-May that to date are nonetheless scheduled to transfer ahead with in-person voting. In Nebraska, a number of hundred thousand voters have already requested mail-in ballots, state election officers have mentioned.
Reporting by Amanda Becker in Washington; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Peter Cooney