In the middle of the coronavirus crisis, Wisconsin held its presidential primary between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Mr. Biden got a strong lead in a recent, widely respected poll.
The polls closed at 9 p.m. EST. Long queues could be seen in cities like Milwaukee, where only five polling places were open.
The state’s elections commission instructed municipal clerks not to release the results until April 13, in compliance with a federal court ruling.
Election to be tarred as illegitimate.
In a never before situation, Milwaukee citizens were forced to choose between following public health orders to stay home and stand in queue for hours at one of only five polling places the city kept open due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“People are going to be wondering about the authenticity of the vote no matter what because of the politicization,” said Patty Schachtner, a Democratic state senator from St. Croix County who made her own mask to wear during a six-hour stint as a poll worker. Other poll workers, she said, did not have any protection at all.
Like so much else in Wisconsin, Tuesday’s vote brought divisions along partisan and geographical lines. In Milwaukee, where just five of 180 polling sites remained open, voters who hadn’t already cast absentee ballots — an overwhelmingly black and Hispanic population — waited in lines for hours.
Dennis Gasper, the Republican Party chairman from Sheboygan County, said: “Everybody had a fair opportunity to vote.”
Black voters in Milwaukee are the worst affected by coronavirus.
Milwaukee is the epicenter of Wisconsin’s coronavirus pandemic, and the black community in Milwaukee is among the most ravaged. Till Tuesday afternoon, Milwaukee county’s coronavirus data showed black Americans accounted for 626 of the county’s 1,387 confirmed cases, and 36 of its 51 deaths.