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Milwaukee mayor urges Evers to conduct election by mail

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers must order Wisconsin officials to conduct the state’s spring election entirely by mail to keep workers and voters safe in the midst of the coronavirus emergency, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says.

The mayor sent Evers and Republican legislative leaders Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald a letter on Monday warning that in-person voting is no longer safe.

Barrett noted that the Milwaukee Elections Commission on Sunday was forced to close its three early in-person voting sites because the sites were losing staff daily. He added that more election workers, including chief inspectors, have decided to quit in anticipation of Evers’ issuing an advisory to stop all nonessential travel.

“This is very real,” Barrett wrote. “In good conscience I would not ask one of my loved ones to sit in a room for hours greeting dozens of people during this pandemic. I can’t expect citizens of my city to do that either.”

He said every day spent preparing for in-person voting is a lost opportunity for municipalities to retool their systems to meet heavy demand for absentee ballots.

Evers has refused to postpone the election. He said Monday he’s considering conducting the election entirely by mail.

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