Politics, Moderate



Will we be ready for Election Day?

Esther J. Cepeda on

CHICAGO -- Wisconsin went ahead with its primary on Tuesday, illustrating in the process how voting is an actual hardship during a global pandemic.

Polling places were scarce in both rural and urban areas because of a shortage of poll workers, many of whom feared for their health. People who couldn't get to a polling place or who worried that they would be infected with COVID-19 by standing in long lines were disenfranchised.

While the Republican legislature was wrong to proceed with in-person elections in Tuesday's primary, it was right to shut down the Democratic governor's loosey-goosey plan to implement all mail-in voting on the fly.

It might seem simple to immediately pivot to mail-in ballots, but it's truly a logistical nightmare -- even without a voting deadline.

There are ballots and envelopes that must be printed, folded, stuffed and then mailed to every registered voter who had not previously requested one. Who will be able to prepare those ballots during a global pandemic when, like in Wisconsin, much of the government is on furlough because the state has decreed that people must stay at home due to the very real health threat?

And how will people be informed of the new method of voting? Though it may come as a surprise to everyone in the media and in government, lots of people don't read the newspaper every morning or tune in to local news at appointed times during the day.


Then there's the U.S. Postal Service.

It's true that we're well past the days when, for instance, the Chicago offices of the U.S. Postal Service were in the national spotlight for having hoarded hundreds of thousands of pieces of undelivered mail.

But skepticism persists about the postal service's ability to securely and accurately deliver mail-in ballots - especially now that many communities have seen drastic reductions in local postal services over the past two decades.

In Wisconsin, some voters are not keen to mail-in ballots due to lack of trust in the routes their mail takes.


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