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Coronavirus Is Surging in Wisconsin. People Are Early Voting in Force Anyway.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

MILWAUKEE—Wisconsin is now a national coronavirus hot spot, with more cases identified so far in Milwaukee County than anywhere else in the state. But that didn’t stop throngs of voters here from heading to the polls on Tuesday, the first day of early voting in a hotly contested swing state with a recent history of both pandemic fear at the ballot box and far-right violence.

Lines as long as two hours were reported at some of Milwaukee’s early voting sites, and Claire Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the city’s Election Commission, said lines were forming at all of the 13 sites open Tuesday. A 14th site will open Wednesday, and two more are available by appointment only for voters with disabilities who can’t use any of the others.

After an April primary that saw the city operate just five packed “voting centers” thanks to a lack of poll workers, things were off to a much smoother start. City locations were enforcing social distancing, while providing one-time use pencils for registration, plexiglass protected stations, and digital screens to cast votes.

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