Kewaunee County polling places ‘slow’ after election postponed, reinstated
KEWAUNEE – Following an Election Eve filled with confusion and doubt, in-person voting took place across the state for Tuesday's general election, although results for Kewaunee County won’t be known until April 13.
Before the off-and-on-again rulings from Gov. Tony Evers and the state and U.S. Supreme Courts Monday, County Clerk Jamie Annoye spent Monday delivering protective supplies — masks, gloves, hand sanitizer — to the county's 14 municipalities to help them prevent the spread of the coronavirus at their polling places during voting hours.
Annoye said the county wasn't providing plastic screens to prevent poll workers and voters from breathing on each other, like a number of communities are doing, but several municipalities set up screens on their own.
She also said Monday the polling places would be fully staffed Tuesday. Four members of the Wisconsin National Guard were on duty to fill what would have been open spots and another three Guard members were on call.
The state Supreme Court ruled the election must take place April 7 and the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently ruled late-arriving absentee ballots (postmarked after 4 p.m. that day) can’t be counted, both overriding orders from Evers that first allowed absentee ballots to be received through April 13 and then postponing the election until June 7.
Because of Evers’ absentee order, clerks were instructed at the time by the state Elections Commission to withhold in-person voting results until April 13 so late ballots wouldn’t be influenced. That directive is still in effect, so Annoye said results won’t be posted until then.
Annoye said her office, as with county and city clerks across the state, has been swamped with absentee ballot requests. She couldn't say how many requests the office has processed because the number grows throughout each day even though the deadline to request one passed April 3.
"We have been entering them nonstop. (The number) constantly changes," Annoye said Monday. "I get an email and there could be 60 (requests) in there. We get probably 20 to 25 emails a day requesting them."
Those who process absentee ballot requests and send them out must be not only trained but licensed, so Annoye isn't able to bring in temporary help, she said.
As of Tuesday morning, Annoye said the changes weren’t creating a rush at the polls.
“It’s been slow, from what I’ve heard,” she said. “That’s to be expected. We had a lot of absentee ballots.”
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Kewaunee County polling places 'slow' after election postponed, reinstated