Wisconsin's Got Long Lines Of People Willing To Risk Their Lives To Go Vote
So far, Wisconsin only has 2,440 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — 422 cases per every million people. This, given the population of the state, puts them right in the middle — not super high, but not super low either. Schools have been closed since March 18, and everything else has been closed since March 25. They're doing reasonably OK. But, after today, that may change because, thanks to Republicans in Wisconsin and the conservatives on the Supreme Court, the state was unable to postpone its election today or even allow mail-in voters who have yet to receive their ballots to have an extension on returning them.
"You can vote but if you do you might catch a virus that will kill you and it will then be the last vote you ever cast in your life" sounds like the plot of a really bad mid-season replacement dystopian television series, but it's the reality in Wisconsin.
So today, the state is seeing long lines of people, attempting to stand six feet apart and not catch a virus that could kill them while they attempt to exercise their right to vote.
Well, some of them anyway. In Waukesha, where there is only one polling location, voters stood pretty close together and most of them didn't wear masks. That's definitely gonna end well.
Video posted on Twitter by CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez showed that people were behaving a lot better at one of the five polling stations open in Milwaukee ... but also there are only five polling stations open in Milwaukee. Normally, there are 180.
The lines are long but there aren't that many people in them — at least compared to the amount of people who would be in them if being in them was not a risk to their health.
Shockingly enough, Wisconsin voters don't seem to be too thrilled about this situation!
Via Washington Post:
Seething anger mixed with resolve at the end of the line of voters that stretched to about 400 people waiting outside Milwaukee's Riverside University High School, which stretched for many blocks and snaked into nearby Riverside Park.[...]
"We decided to risk our lives to come vote," said Ellie Bradish, 40. "I feel like I'm voting for my neighbors, all the people who don't have the luxury to wait this long."
John Carter, a retired bus driver, stood a few spots back in line. Normally, the 71-year-old walks four blocks to his neighborhood polling site, and it takes 20 minutes, tops.
"I have to wait," he said about today's vote. "I have to cast my ballot. I don't have anything going on, except the legs get tired. I'm an old man."
Like many, Carter felt angry.
"I think the Republicans in Madison wanted this," he said, shaking his head.
Yeah, they kinda did. Of course they did. What the hell do they care if a 71-year-old Democrat dies from voting?
Preventing the election from being postponed or counting mail-in-ballots is a very savvy move on the part of the GOP. Republicans always benefit from low voter turnout, but in this case, they have already been primed by their media to think the pandemic is being overblown (and to not really care if they have it and spread it to others), and are thus much more likely to show up to vote, and there's an important Supreme Court election happening today. Trump has been pushing to get his voters to mobilize for conservative justice Daniel Kelly, and since they'll pretty much do whatever he says, they may now have that in the bag.
Naturally, the neutral arbiters of common sense and reasonableness over at MSNBC (including Chuck Todd, because of course including Chuck Todd) would really like "both sides" to come to "some kind of agreement" that would prevent Americans from choosing between their votes or their lives.
Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Democrats wanted to postpone voting until June and, failing that, at least allow an extension for people to fill out ballots they hadn't received yet. Republicans wanted to do nothing. What would the middle ground even be? There isn't one. There is no compromise position. You've got one group of people who really don't give a shit if people get sick or die so long as they can gain power from it, and one group of people who would prefer that people did not get sick or die.
It would not have killed Republicans or the conservative Supreme Court justices to postpone this election or to just mail everyone some damn ballots (on time) and call it a day. It may, however, end up killing some voters.
For those who are planning to risk it, however, here is some pertinent info!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse