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Mayors in Wisconsin call on DHS Secretary Andrea Palm to stop in-person voting

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Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is one of nine mayors from across Wisconsin asking the Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm to implement all emergency measures necessary to control the spread of COVID-19 by delaying the upcoming election.

Wisconsin officials are proceeding with the election tomorrow even though many Wisconsinites who have been social distancing for weeks will not venture out to a public place to vote and a shortage of poll workers has led to a drastic reduction in numbers of polling places.

“We want to emphasize that the election has already begun. Hundreds of thousands of people have requested absentee ballots and many of those have already been returned. Those votes must be counted. The real issue now is how we conclude the election,” the mayors wrote in a letter on Sunday. “We must still ensure that every eligible voter has the right to vote without jeopardizing their health. The most logical way to accomplish this is to mail ballots to every registered voter.

“EVERY other state that has faced this issue during this pandemic has crafted a solution that respects democracy and protected the health of their citizens,” the letter added. We must do the same. The lives of our constituents depend on it.”

Wisconsin mayors signing the letter included Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison, Mayor Eric Genrich of Green Bay, Mayor Lori Palmeri of Oshkosh, Mayor Tim Kabat of La Crosse, Mayor John Antaramian of Kenosha, Mayor Cory Mason of Racine, Mayor Tim Hanna of Appleton and Mayor Karen Mischel of Viroqua.