Superior's spring election goes smoothly, despite chaos in state, nation

by Felicity Bosk

Poll workers at the Billings Park Community Center in Superior on April 7. Photo credit Felicity Bosk.
Poll workers at the Billings Park Community Center in Superior on April 7. Photo credits Felicity Bosk.

Superior residents headed to the polls despite the ongoing global pandemic. Wisconsin was the only state that held in-person voting on April 7.

Polling places prepared by having tape on the floors to keep voters at a six-foot distance from one another, having poll workers wear facemasks, and having a clear glass separating poll workers from voters. Residents could also curbside vote from their vehicles to minimize crowds.

Early Tuesday morning, Mayor Jim Paine posted to Facebook on how Tuesday’s unique election day would go. “Be a safe voter,” he wrote. “Have your ID ready but show it, don’t place it on the table. Bring your own pen. If you use ours, keep it.”

He encouraged voters to wear facemasks and discouraged them from bringing their children.

 

Social distancing practiced at the polls on April 7.
Social distancing practiced at the polls on April 7.

Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order to postpone Tuesday’s election but was blocked by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Wisconsin was the only state since coronavirus-related shutdowns to not postpone its election. Milwaukee was forced to consolidate their 180 polling places into five, as many poll workers quit due to health concerns.

 

Mary Werner, an election inspector that worked at the Billings Park Community Center in Superior said things there had been running smoothly.

“We’ve been busier than I thought we would be for an election like this,” she said.

Superior’s regular polling locations were all able to stay open with the exception of the Salvation Army site being moved to the Government Center.

Leading up to the election, Wisconsinites were encouraged to request mail-in ballots. Ballots will still be accepted as long as they are post-marked April 7 and received by 4 p.m. on April 13, according to the Wisconsin Election Commission.

More than a million mail-in ballots were requested for the 2020 spring primary. By contrast, about 250,000 were requested for the 2016 spring primary. In Superior, residents had the opportunity to drop off the ballots that had been mailed to them from their vehicles outside the Government Center to ensure they would be received and counted.

The presidential primary was the biggest item on the Wisconsin primary ballot. As this article’s writing on the afternoon of April 7, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are the only two democrats still running for the party’s nomination [Saqnders dropped out of the race the next day].

Sign of the times.
Sign of the times.

The Democratic convention to be held in Milwaukee, has been postponed to August due to coronavirus.

Wisconsin residents were also asked to elect a justice to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Voters were asked to choose between liberal Jill J. Karofsky and conservative Daniel Kelly.

Superior residents were asked to elect their county board supervisor, odd-numbered district city councilors, and school board members. Two referendum questions were on Superior’s ballot. One asked residents to enact Marcy’s Law, which would give additional rights to crime victims in Wisconsin. The other asked if the city should allow the use of ATVs and UTVs on Superior streets and alleys.

Results of Tuesday’s election will not be released until April 13 after all mail-in votes can be counted.