ICYMI: CDC Study Shows No COVID-19 Spike from Wisconsin’s April Elections

[Madison, WI] – In case you missed it, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently confirmed that Wisconsin’s April Election did not contribute to the spread of coronavirus.

Despite the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s fear-mongering and irresponsible hyperbole, even fundraising off of a potential spike in deaths of their fellow Wisconsinites, there was not a spike in cases or deaths. Wisconsin proved that with careful planning, we can protect people’s access to the polls while safely and fairly conducting an election. In contrast, Democrats again engaged in voter suppression by limiting access to the polls and causing mass confusion before election day.

Both of Wisconsin’s in-person elections this spring prove that we can and should preserve voters’ ability to vote in-person. While many Democrats, even some right here in Wisconsin, want to flip the switch and move our elections to an entirely vote-by-mail system, doing so would jeopardize the integrity of our elections and access to the ballot. Furthermore, 77% of voters want the security of the voting booth and the privacy it affords.

Read the full write-up here or find excerpts below.

CDC Study Shows No COVID-19 Spike from Wisconsin’s April Elections
National Review
John McCormack
July 31, 2020

Despite fears that Wisconsin’s April election would serve to spread the coronavirus, a new report by the Centers for Disease Control confirms that it didn’t.

Symptoms of COVID-19 typically develop 2 to 14 days after an infection. Yet the CDC notes that only 14 people out of nearly 19,000 who voted in person in Milwaukee on April 7 are known to have tested positive for the virus between April 9 and April 21, with the caveat that in about half of the new cases reported in Milwaukee during that time period, whether the person voted is unknown.

Although the CDC report focuses on Milwaukee, there do not appear to have been spikes in cases anywhere else in the state due to the election, either.

According to Elizabeth Goodstitt, a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, “71 people who tested COVID-19 positive” throughout the state between April 9 and April 21 “reported that they voted in person or worked the polls on election day. However, several of those people reported other possible exposures as well.” Thus, she says, “it is not accurate to say” that the 71 cases were the “result of in-person voting,” because some infections could have come from other sources.

A total of 413,000 people voted in person statewide in Wisconsin on April 7. Although a much smaller number of Wisconsinites participated in protest marches following the killing of George Floyd in late May, Wisconsin officials are aware of “28 confirmed cases reported attending a protest or rally during early June, during the 2 weeks before getting COVID-19,” Goodstitt said in an email.

But voters in Milwaukee maintained their distance, waited to vote almost entirely outdoors, and wore masks, and their efforts appear to have been effective. “No clear increase in cases, hospitalizations, or deaths was observed after the election, suggesting possible benefit of the mitigation strategies, which limited in-person voting and aimed to ensure safety of the polling sites open on election day,” the CDC reports.

While fear surrounding the Wisconsin elections was understandable at the time, the decision to hold them has proved to be important to the entire country for two reasons: Wisconsin demonstrated that in-person voting could be conducted safely despite the coronavirus pandemic, and avoided setting a dangerous precedent of allowing a chief executive to unilaterally and illegally move the election date. The latter concern may not have seemed very pressing back in early April, but it looms larger now, a day after President Trump touched off a firestorm by hinting that he might seek to postpone November’s general election.

For three weeks after Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, said he wanted to hold the election as scheduled on April 7 and resisted Democratic calls to unilaterally postpone it, insisting that he didn’t have the power to do so. But the weekend before the election, Evers did an about-face and asked the Republican legislature to postpone it. When the legislature rejected Evers’s request, he issued an order moving the election to June, taking the very action he had previously said would be illegal. Legislative leaders challenged Evers’s order, and the state supreme court ruled 4–2 against the governor.

Read the full write up here.