Justin Clark, senior counsel for President Donald Trump’s campaign, advised Wisconsin Republicans. He blames Democratic governor Tony Evers for the chaos and told us the Democrats are cynically using the pandemic to expand their voter base with mail in absentee ballots.
Justin Clark: We have tons and tons of different ways for people to vote if they have a fear of COVID-19. We have early vote that goes on for weeks ahead of an election in– in most places. But make no mistake. Voting in person is far more secure and safer than voting by– by mail.
Bill Whitaker: Even in the time of pandemic?
Justin Clark: By safer, what I mean is that it’s gonna be a much more secure outcome.
Neil Albrecht: In-person voting should not have happened in the state of Wisconsin on April 7th. It was dangerous. It was reckless.
Neil Albrecht is head of Milwaukee’s election commission. He told us the coronavirus scared so many poll workers – half of them over age 60 – he could man only five polling places. He usually has 180.
Bill Whitaker: Americans take great pride in our democratic system. Did that system suffer on April 7th?
Neil Albrecht: It suffered greatly. A lot of people in the state of Wisconsin had to choose between their health or casting a ballot. I don’t believe that is a good representation of democracy.
The Wisconsin health department reported 71 people tested positive for COVID-19 after voting or working at the polls, but can’t say definitively that was the cause. To avoid the virus, more Wisconsin voters cast absentee ballots in the primary than ever before.
Neil Albrecht: It was about an 800% request in absentee ballots.
Bill Whitaker: Did I hear you correctly? You had requests for 8 times more absentee ballots than normal?
Neil Albrecht: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I can tell you and I don’t think this is unique to Wisconsin. States are not equipped for that type of surge.