Poll closures and pandemic lowered Milwaukee voter turnout, study says — 6/24/20

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

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A new Brennan Center for Justice study documents a steep dropoff in voting in Milwaukee on April 7 due to polling site closures and concerns over the coronavirus. Those factors disproportionately affected Black residents, who have been hardest hit by the pandemic  — combining to lower that group’s voter turnout by an estimated 15.9 percentage points, with poll closures playing the bigger role, Dee J. Hall reports for Wisconsin Watch.

Top Stories

Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Voters waited for hours in long lines to vote in Milwaukee on April 7, 2020. Here, the voting line wraps around the block outside Washington High School. Researchers say that consolidating polling sites and health concerns of voting in-person during the pandemic kept many Milwaukee voters away, especially Black residents.

Study: Poll closings, COVID-19 fears, kept many Milwaukee voters awayWisconsin Watch 

DHS: Return to public gatherings makes it difficult to trace COVID-19Wisconsin State Journal 

UW joins drug trial aimed at preventing major COVID-19 killer: Haywire immune responseMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Wisconsin tribal casinos expect big losses due to coronavirus pandemicGreen Bay Press Gazette 

Yes, Trump said positive COVID-19 tests are making the U.S. ‘look bad,’ referenced slowing testingPolitiFact Wisconsin 

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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 


“You’re told in high school and middle school that if you go to college, you’re going to have opportunities lined up for you … But when the whole world shuts down, those opportunities diminish, and you kind of feel swindled in a way.”

Mikayla Gilbert, a junior marketing major at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about how students are struggling to find internships during the pandemic

Data to note

Twenty-two Wisconsin counties have a “high” activity level for COVID-19, according to an interactive state Department of Health Services map released this week. The measure is based upon the county’s COVID-19 burden (rate of cases) and its trajectory (change in cases over the previous two weeks). 

Click here for more details on how the agency is measuring COVID-19 activity levels. The agency plans to update its data by 2 p.m. each Wednesday. 

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: tips@wisconsinwatchmediapartners.wpcomstaging.com.

Her life spiraled into addiction after her brother’s tragic death. Ho-Chunk woman declared her independence, and now saves lives.Green Bay Press Gazette 

Couple weds at Beaver Dam Assisted Living after pandemic altered plansBeaver Dam Daily Citizen 

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