Wisconsin residents might find themselves facing a tough question on April 7: Do I risk my health or I do forego voting?
If registered voters act today, they won’t have to make that choice. They can request an absentee ballot by going to myvote.wi.gov. Don’t delay, because the deadline is April 2.
Meanwhile, the Governor’s Office is pushing the Wisconsin Elections Commission to mail ballots to each of the 3.3 million eligible registered voters -- minus the more than 760,000 people who had one as of March 27.
People’s drive to participate in democracy despite the COVID-19 pandemic is impressive. The WEC already has mailed out more five times as many absentee ballots than in 2018, when the state had a record 2.7 million people vote in all. We expect the absentee requests to top 1 million, and we urge local voters to be among that number, because casting your ballot that way will be safer.
Of course, there’s a chance the election could be delayed, but don’t risk it. While an emergency court order is possible, such a ruling is complicated by the contentious Wisconsin Supreme Court justice contest on this ballot.
So people must proceed as if April 7 is election day.
There are multiple reasons why this vote is critical, starting with school, village, town and county elections. Then there is Wisconsin’s presidential preference primary, which suddenly gains national importance since 14 states scheduled to hold presidential primaries in March and April have postponed those.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign gains a little life as a result. Remember, he decisively won Wisconsin in the 2016 Democratic primary. Joe Biden currently has 1,151 delegates to Sanders’ 874, so will Wisconsin voters again award him their 84 delegates, raising him to within a hundred of Biden? Or will Biden carry the state and essentially end Sanders’ bid?
There are many reasons to vote. We hope citizens do so.
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