Virus Outbreak Wisconsin Election

Voters wait in line to cast ballots at Washington High School while ignoring a stay-at-home order over the coronavirus threat to vote in the state's presidential primary election, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in Milwaukee.

(The Center Square) – Local election clerks in Wisconsin are grateful for the Wisconsin National Guard's assistance at the state's primary polls. 

Guard commanders on Tuesday said their work at the polls was a success. 

“The elections mission is an illustration of how we can bring our service members on state active duty, train them to be poll workers and send them out to polling stations within their community and execute the polling mission in a professional manner," Brig. Gen. Robyn Blader, Wisconsin’s assistant adjutant general for readiness and training, said. "The Wisconsin National Guard is part of your communities, as we are your family, your friends, your co-workers and your neighbors who live in your communities, and we could not be prouder to be serving the citizens of our state and being part of ensuring they can cast their vote in this election.”

Nearly 2,400 Army and Air Guard members worked at the polls Tuesday. Blader said troops were sent to 71 of the state's 72 counties. Florence County was the only county who didn't see any troops. 

Local clerks said the Guard members helped. 

“Use of the soldiers has been the smoothest part of this election,” Barron County Clerk DeeAnn Cook said. “I am more than impressed with how this entire process of using the Guard came off."

Langlade County Clerk Judy Nagel said the citizen soldiers were not only helpful, but appeared pleasant and happy to help. 

“The nine Guardsmen that Langlade County received were so kind and eager to be of assistance to the municipal clerks,” she said. 

Wisconsin's Election Commission had even more praise. 

“[In-person voting] would not have been possible without you,” Meagan Wolfe, the Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator said. 

She said that the troops "helped make democracy in Wisconsin possible."