US News Masked and at a distance, voters in Wisconsin vote in the middle of a pandemic

20:35  07 april  2020
20:35  07 april  2020 Source:   lexpress.fr

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While the Covid-19 pandemic has already killed more than 11,000 people in the United States, Donald Trump called on voters to vote on Tuesday.

Dans le Wisconsin, les électeurs sont appelés à voter malgré la pandémie de coronavirus. © AFP In Wisconsin, voters are called to vote despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Guard deployed in the polling stations, voters wearing masks, maximum social distancing ... The residents of Wisconsin vote this Tuesday, in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic, for local elections and the Democratic primary between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. The latter denounced a decision "scandalous", risking to prove to be "fatal".

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After an intense showdown between Democrats and Republicans, polling stations finally opened this Tuesday morning in this state of the American Midwest, hit, like all the United States, by the Covid-19. For the past two weeks, its nearly six million inhabitants have been called to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus, which has already killed more than 11,000 people in the United States.

Voters were waiting, spaced apart, in long queues in the big city of Milwaukee, where only five polling stations could be opened for nearly 600,000 inhabitants.

A vote held anyway

In Kenosha, further south on the shores of Lake Michigan, voters and polling station employees were separated by plexiglass walls. Members of the National Guard regularly disinfected the tables and voting machine. Over a hundred municipalities warned that they did not even have enough election workers, some of whom were sick or fearful of contagion, to open a single polling station.

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At stake: the democratic primary but also local elections sometimes crucial for the balance of power in the state, which essentially explains the battle fierce between Republicans and Democrats around the ballot.

By saying he wanted to "protect" citizens against the pandemic, the governor had signed a decree on Monday to postpone the poll to June 9. But Republicans immediately appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which ordered a vote a few hours later on Tuesday.

A "dangerous" situation

Supported by Donald Trump, a conservative judge of the Supreme Court is rightly playing for his re-election. The American president therefore encouraged voters on Monday and Tuesday to vote.

Bernie Sanders, candidate for the democratic nomination to be able to challenge it during the presidential election of November, judged him "scandalous" that the republicans oblige to vote as of Tuesday "for their political benefit". This decision is "dangerous" and "may well prove to be fatal".

Former vice-president Joe Biden, ultra-favorite of the Democratic primary, is given the winner in this state by polls, but great uncertainty hangs over this unprecedented poll.

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