Marti Mikkelson

News Reporter

Marti, a Waukesha native, joined the WUWM news team in February of 1999. She is also host of WUWM's weekly political podcast, Capitol Notes.

Previously, she was an anchor and reporter at WTMJ in Milwaukee, WIBA in Madison, and WLIP in Kenosha.

Marti’s work has been recognized by RTNDA, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, Associated Press, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, and the Milwaukee Press Club.

Marti earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Marti currently lives on her favorite side of town – Milwaukee’s east side.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

It’s shaping up to be another busy week for the Wisconsin courts. The state Supreme Court rejected a couple of lawsuits last week related to President Donald Trump’s claims that the election was conducted illegally in the state.

The court ruled that Trump’s grievances must first go through lower courts. His attorneys then filed similar claims in federal court in Wisconsin.

Ann-Elise Henzl / WUWM

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he’s pleased that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine has been approved in the United Kingdom – and is optimistic it will soon be rolled out in the U.S.

In a media update Thursday, Barrett estimated Wisconsin would initially receive about 50,000 doses of the vaccine. He said they’ll be distributed to those most in need.

Lauren Sigfusson / WUWM

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he’ll sign an ordinance that increases fines for bars and restaurants that violate mask and social distancing orders. Under the new rules, penalties would increase from a maximum of $500 per violation to a maximum of $5,000 per violation.

Mark Makela/Getty Images

Joe Biden’s victory in battleground Wisconsin was confirmed Monday following a partial recount that only added to his 20,600-vote margin over President Donald Trump, who has promised to file a lawsuit seeking to undo the results.

Becca Schimmel / WUWM

Milwaukee and Dane counties have finished their presidential recounts. It turns out President-elect Joe Biden netted 87 additional votes between the two counties. Unofficial results show Biden maintains a roughly 20,000 vote lead in Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump says he’ll file a lawsuit by Tuesday disputing the validity of about 240,000 ballots. He claims early in-person absentee voting was conducted illegally, among other arguments. Trump wants to overturn the election results by getting those ballots thrown out.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

The presidential recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties is entering its fourth day. Unofficial results from Nov. 3 show President-elect Joe Biden ahead of President Donald Trump in Wisconsin by about 20,000 votes.

Milwaukee County election officials say the recount is moving slowly because Trump’s attorneys have been constantly interrupting and challenging tens of thousands of ballots, alleging fraud and seeking to discount them. They say few votes have actually been counted and the process is falling far behind.

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Officials from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Tuesday laid out the procedure for distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, once it becomes available. Both Pfizer and Moderna say the vaccines they’re developing are at least 90% effective in preliminary trials.

Maayan Silver / WUWM

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers says he’ll introduce a coronavirus relief package for Wisconsin this week, amid soaring numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.  He announced his intention after he delivered a statewide address, urging Wisconsinites to voluntarily shelter-in-place but stopped short of issuing another emergency stay-at-home order. 

Marti Mikkelson / WUWM

Updated Monday at 6:10 p.m. CST

Hundreds of people who don't accept that President Donald Trump lost in Wisconsin showed up for a rally Saturday at Serb Hall on Milwaukee’s south side. The event was held in the parking lot amid a sea of flags and signs that read “Trump 2020” and “Make America Great Again.” Organizers asked participants to help in a possible recount in Wisconsin.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Updated Friday 9:02 p.m. CST

Wisconsin health officials reported more jaw-dropping COVID-19 infection numbers Thursday as people continued to flaunt recommendations to wear masks and avoid gatherings and state government remained gridlocked on how to beat the pandemic.

Scott Olson

Coronavirus cases are exploding across Wisconsin. Local leaders gave an update Tuesday about what’s going on here. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says a record number of people were tested Monday for the virus.

“If you look [Monday] at Miller Park, we tested 2,805 people. On the northwest side, we tested 586 people. On the south side, we tested 528 people. So, the city of Milwaukee total for one day, with our resources, is close to 4,000,” Barrett says.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

With Democrat Joe Biden the president-elect, President Donald Trump is still vowing to ask for a recount in Wisconsin. His legal team is looking into whether voter fraud occurred in other states.  Meanwhile, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has called on an Assembly committee to investigate whether there was voter fraud here — unofficial results show that Biden won Wisconsin by about 20,000 votes. 

In this week’s Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of what kind of answers the committee hopes to obtain from witnesses.

Al Bello / Getty Images

Coronavirus numbers have been exploding across Wisconsin. Racine is one area seeing a particularly large number of cases.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

A number of media outlets are declaring Democrat Joe Biden the winner of Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes. Biden holds a lead of about 20,000 votes over Republican President Donald Trump. Trump’s campaign says it will request a recount in Wisconsin.

In this special edition of Capitol Notes, WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of what a recount would look like if it takes place.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett gave a status report Monday on the number of city residents who voted early. He said more than 162,000 people cast early ballots, which amounts to about 50% of registered voters. Barrett said he’s pleased with those figures, but expressed concern about the number of ballots that were mailed to voters that hadn’t been received in the clerk’s office.

“We know that there are still a lot of people who need to vote. We still have about 20,000 absentee ballots that have not been returned, and it’s too late to put them in the mail," he said.

Tuesday is Election Day. In addition to the presidential race, Wisconsin’s eight congressional seats are up for grabs, as well as all 99 state Assembly seats and half of the state Senate.

In this special edition of Capitol Notes, we look at some of the more contested legislative races. Some of the Assembly seats have been particularly lively, especially in the Milwaukee area. WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of where he sees the most competitive races.

Screenshot / Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Updated at 3:45 p.m. CT

Gov. Tony Evers pleaded with Wisconsin residents Tuesday to stay home and limit their interactions to immediate family amid new statewide daily records for confirmed coronavirus infections and related deaths.

Marti Mikkelson

The mayors of Milwaukee and four other cities shared their election coronavirus safety plans and other logistics during a conference call on Monday. Early in-person voting has been underway for a week in Milwaukee. Mayor Tom Barrett says the city has invested $250,000 worth of plexiglass at the polling places to help protect voters and election workers from COVID-19.

(Left) Scott Olson/Getty Images, (Right) Courtesy of Tim Rogers

Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District encompasses the city of Milwaukee and some surrounding towns. Two candidates are competing for the seat in the Nov. 3 election: Democrat incumbent Rep. Gwen Moore of Milwaukee and Republican Tim Rogers of Milwaukee. Moore was first elected to the district in 2005 after former Rep. Jerry Kleczka held the seat for 21 years.

Courtesy of Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Palzewicz

Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District spans from just west of Milwaukee through Waukesha County to Jefferson and Dodge counties. Two candidates are competing for the seat in the Nov.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

President Trump worked in another visit to Wisconsin over the weekend. He drew a crowd of about 10,000 people to a rally Saturday night in Waukesha. It was the fifth time since August in which Trump has visited the state. The Waukesha rally was held a week after thousands turned out for a rally in Janesville, and Trump is scheduled to hold another rally near La Crosse on Tuesday. 

Marti Mikkelson

A 38-mile walk that started in Kenosha in the early morning hours ended at Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee Tuesday night. About 25 people participated in the walk, organized in support of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot by a white Kenosha police officer in August. Blake was paralyzed from the waist down and was recently released from the hospital.

Lauren Sigfusson / WUWM

Updated at 2:45 p.m. CT

A Wisconsin judge on Monday reimposed an order from Gov. Tony Evers’ administration limiting the number of people who can gather in bars, restaurants and other indoor venues to 25% of capacity.

Chuck Quirmbach

The number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Wisconsin continues to break records. Cases have been averaging 3,000 per day, then on Friday, topped 4,000. In the midst of all this, Gov. Tony Evers issued an emergency order, requiring bars, restaurants and retail stores to operate at 25% capacity. Some had been running at 50%. A judge set a hearing for Monday in Sawyer County after the Wisconsin Tavern League sued to overturn the order. 

Courtesy of Glenn Grothman and Jessica King

Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District spans from just north of Milwaukee and west to the Wisconsin Dells. Two candidates are competing for the seat in the Nov. 3 election: Republican incumbent Rep. Glenn Grothman of Glenbeulah and Democrat Jessica King of Oshkosh. Grothman was first elected to the district in 2014 after former Rep. Tom Petri held the seat for 36 years.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are resuming in-person campaign stops across the country after a bout with COVID-19 sidelined the president.  Trump is set to deliver a speech and attend a fundraiser in Janesville on Saturday, according to an invitation to supporters, while Pence is scheduled to visit a manufacturing facility in Waukesha on Tuesday. The presidential election is only three weeks away.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated Thursday at 9 a.m. CT

A Black Wisconsin police officer who fatally shot a Black teenager outside a suburban Milwaukee mall in February won't be charged because he had reasonable belief that deadly force was necessary, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Wauwatosa Officer Joseph Mensah shot 17-year-old Alvin Cole outside Mayfair Mall on Feb. 2 after police responded to a reported disturbance at the shopping center.

The White House / Handout / Getty Images

President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis late last week thwarted the Republican's plans to campaign over the weekend. Meanwhile, Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who tested negative, indicated he would press ahead with in-person events.

In this week’s Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of how he thinks the developments might affect the campaigns in Wisconsin.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

A series of virtual public hearings across Wisconsin kicked off Thursday night to begin the process of redrawing the state's political boundaries for the next decade.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers established the People’s Maps Commission earlier this year. The bipartisan group consists of one representative from each of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts. Thursday night’s meeting focused on the 8th district, which covers northeastern Wisconsin.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President Trump has announced his Supreme Court pick to replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away earlier this month. Trump has chosen conservative federal appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett and confirmation hearings are scheduled to begin Oct. 12.