At least 36 people who either voted in person or worked at the polls on April 7 during Wisconsin’s primary election have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, once again fueling concerns over what the pandemic could mean for elections and reigniting the demand for a proper vote-by-mail process.
According to Politico, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services confirmed the figure, noting that the DHS had implemented “new tracing mechanisms” shortly after the controversial elections in order to help track those who may have contracted the virus while voting or working at the polls.
“So far, 36 people who tested COVID-19 positive after April 9 have reported that they voted in person or worked the polls on election day,” Jennifer Miller, a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, told Politico.
However, Miller noted that “several” people also had possible additional means of exposure, so it is not quite clear if the election was responsible for their particular contraction of the virus. On the other hand, that also means that they could have spread it to others while at the polls that day. As a result, officials expect the number of those infected to rise
As WUWM reports, about 400,000 people voted in person on April 7.
Milwaukee County is reporting that some 40 people could have been infected with the virus as a result of the primary elections; however, the county’s health commissioner, Jeanette Kowalik, told WUWM that the data is still being analyzed.
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