Pandemic leaves Wisconsin election in complete chaos — 4/3/20

A roundup of top news and information about Wisconsin’s response to the coronavirus

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Election day is fast approaching in Wisconsin, and the coronavirus pandemic leaves it in complete disarray. Today we highlight a story by The Guardian’s Sam Levin, reported in collaboration with Wisconsin Watch, about the electoral chaos — from fearful and overwhelmed election workers to changing deadlines that could lead to widespread confusion.

Top Stories

Adam Carr / Milwaukee Neighborhood News

Not every worker can stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those deemed “essential” have clearance to leave to perform tasks deemed crucial for human safety and health. And they risk exposure to COVID-19 by doing so.

‘Over our heads in chaos’: Wisconsin election in flux amid pandemic fears The Guardian/Wisconsin Watch

‘Will I bring it home today?’ Essential workers share their COVID-19 stories Milwaukee Neighborhood News

UW-Madison student recovering from ‘dehumanizing’ COVID-19 sounds alarm to young adults Wisconsin State Journal

Some basics on applying for unemployment benefits — and why you should apply right now Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

State ag officials warn farmers that milk dumping could harm the environment and result in fish kills Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

What to do if someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19. Expert answers your questions WPR 

Why aren’t you seeing how many Wisconsin residents recovered from coronavirus? Because ‘it would be a guess,’ state says. Appleton Post-Crescent

What are we missing? And how are you coping? Help us provide critical information and accountability by filling out this form or emailing us at

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Government updates

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Gov. Tony Evers’ office

U.S. Centers and Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

Live updates

Live blog from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and USA Today-Wisconsin reporters 

Photos from the Wisconsin State Journal show how the virus affects Wisconsin

Live blog from Wisconsin Public Radio reporters.


“I think the important thing right now is to find laughter and levity in kind of the darkest of times or the weirdest of times, because at the end of the day, I think that’s just kind of part of the human condition is you need to laugh no matter what.”

Wisconsin comedian Charlie Berens, who has been posting videos from his “Quarantine Kitchen,” as quoted by the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Stats to note

Milwaukee, home to around 300,000 registered voters, will have just five election day polling locations on Tuesday, instead of the usual 180. It’s not clear where they will be or who will staff them. The city usually requires 1,400 poll workers, but had just 400 earlier this week, according to reporting by The Guardian.

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us:

Gov. Tony Evers and Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm on Friday announced the new “Resilient Wisconsin” initiative “provide tools and resources to Wisconsinites dealing with stress and mental health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Community Heroes: Metcalfe Park organizers go digital with mass-texting and mutual aid during COVID-19 crisis Milwaukee Neighborhood News 

In shadow of COVID-19, Holy Week like none other for Madison-area faith community Wisconsin State Journal 

From the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs:

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