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Coronavirus Complicates Wisconsin's April Election

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DARREN HAUCK
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Voters cast their midterm ballots at the District 5 Ward 83 firehouse on Nov. 6, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisc.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is rapidly transforming the way we live our lives. Many of us, including the Lake Effect staff, have transitioned to working from home for the foreseeable future. But as most of us avoid contact with the outside world, Wisconsin's April 7 spring election and presidential preference primary is quickly approaching.

>>Coronavirus: Milwaukee Officials Suggest Voting Early, Recruiting Young Poll Workers

Although some politicians, like Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, support postponing the election, so far it remains on schedule. So at a time when the state is limiting public gatherings to 10 people or fewer, how do we handle this important election?

Bill Glauber, a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, says a lot of questions remain up in the air, including who will be working the polls.

"Poll workers generally skew older, and as we know from how the coronavirus has moved around the world it is the older population that has to take the greatest care," he explains. "So how do you protect the poll workers? How do you protect the voters?"

Registered voters can request a ballot until Thursday, April 7, which is the Thursday before the election. People who still need to register have to do it by Wednesday, March 18. But there are still options to avoid the possible rush of voters on Election Day. 

"You can still register in person at your clerk during the early voting and if you do that, you might as well go and vote. You're there anyway, go and vote. The anticipation is there will be fewer lines then," says Glauber. 

What do you want to know about the 2020 elections and the DNC convention? Submit your questions below.

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Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as a producer for Lake Effect. Before then, she was a director and producer for Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm Chicago Public Radio.