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In confirmation that the Wisconsin primary elections in the United States were possibly placing the health of voters at risk, state health officials have connected at least seven novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) cases to Wisconsin’s primaries held on April 7. This figure has since more than doubled to 19.
The office of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik stated that the seven cases include six voters and one poll worker in the largest city in the state – Milwaukee. The number of confirmed cases may also increase as the two-week quarantine period ends on Wednesday, April 22, according to health officials.
This comes after the Wisconsin primary was referred to by the state’s largest newspaper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as “the most undemocratic in the state’s history.” Also, while the state’s Democratic Governor Tony Evers attempted to have citizens remain at home and cast their votes via mail, his calls for absentee ballots and the delaying of the primary was reportedly denied by the Republican-controlled state legislature.
On the day of the vote, the initial 200 voting locations were cut back to five and filled with long lines, with some voters stating that they felt as if they had to choose between their well-being and democratic rights.
Both Ohio and Kansas have opted to have their voting conducted via mail. However, Nebraska, Idaho and Oregon, which have their state primaries scheduled for mid-May are among the handful of states that are still scheduled to proceed with in-person voting.