COVID deaths mount; economic angst; ballot cures; voting drop boxes; falsehoods at rallies
Of note: This week we highlight our latest coverage of the biggest storylines unfolding in Wisconsin: The state’s rising death toll, economic hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic and the looming Nov. 3 presidential election.
Reporter Bram Sable-Smith examines how Republican resistance to Democratic Gov. Evers’ pandemic response has sent mixed messages to residents at a time when collective action is needed to slow the spread of coronavirus.
And in the latest installment of our Outbreak Wisconsin collaboration with WPR, Bridgit Bowden reports on rising anxieties within Wisconsin’s bar and restaurant industry as cold weather promises to eliminate sales from residents who will avoid eating and drinking indoors — where the virus is more likely to spread.
Meanwhile, Nora Eckert finds that municipalities around Wisconsin have installed more than 500 drop boxes to help ensure that absentee ballots reach clerks’ offices by the end of voting on Tuesday. And in a separate story, Eckert offers additional news they can use: how voters can fix mistakes on their mailed-in ballots.
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How politics paralyzed Wisconsin’s pandemic response — and left families to grieve their losses
Wisconsin Watch/WPR — October 28, 2020
Courts and the Republican-controlled Legislature limited the powers of the Democratic governor. Partisan messaging led many residents to spurn masks and distancing. It didn’t have to be this way, but Wisconsinites are living and dying with the consequences.
‘Winter is coming, and a lot of doors are going to be shut’: Restaurant and bar workers in peril as weather grows cold and COVID-19 keeps spreading
Wisconsin Watch/WPR — October 27, 2020
COVID-19 is walloping the service industry, forcing some bars and restaurants to permanently close their doors while others shut down for winter. Before the pandemic hit, Amy Moreland worked as a bartender and events coordinator in Madison, in many cases serving gatherings of 50 or more people. “Well, that’s canceled forever, or the foreseeable future,” she joked anxiously in an audio diary.
Read and listen more from the Outbreak Wisconsin series.
How Wisconsin voters can ‘cure’ the hundreds of ballots already rejected
Wisconsin Watch — October 27, 2020
When Melissa Lemke got a call that her absentee ballot had been rejected, she was convinced there had been some mistake. As an alderwoman in Racine, she knew how important it was to carefully fill out her ballot and envelope, and she’d done so successfully in past elections.
Read more from the Narrow Margin project here.
Ballot drop boxes offer ‘a safe place’ for voting in Wisconsin’s election
Wisconsin Watch — October 29, 2020
Among the changes making voting safer during the COVID-19 pandemic: absentee ballot drop boxes installed by local clerks around the state.
Rallies are the core of Trump’s campaign, and a font of lies and misinformation
The New York Times — October 26, 2020
As President Donald Trump battles for a second term with polls that show him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, rallies like one in Wisconsin have become the backbone of his re-election campaign and a font of virtually non-stop misinformation. The president has boasted to reporters that he may hold as many as five rallies each day as he races toward the finish line on Nov. 3.
Read or listen more on Wisconsin Watch: Pre-bunking falsehoods: How Wisconsin voters can avoid falling for election misinformation
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