With the nation’s eyes on Wisconsin — its coveted 10 electoral votes could again determine the outcome of the presidential race — municipalities across the state are finding themselves in a surprising position ahead of Nov. 3. Rather than struggling with too few poll workers, which hampered the presidential primary election early in the pandemic, some locations have been overwhelmed with volunteers.
Nearly all of the 1,200 people who staffed Milwaukee polling locations in August will return in November. They’ll be joined by a few thousand more, most of them new to the process.
“They’re stepping up to fill the role that grandma might ordinarily fill,” said Maribeth Witzel-Behl, city clerk in Madison. The capital city, a liberal bastion, was so inundated by September that it had to cut off applications at 6,000. Typically, about 3,000 people work the polls in a fall general election.