By Ben Rodgers
Whirlwind doesn’t do justice to describe the debacle that happened earlier this week regarding holding the general election.
Amid justifiable fears around a global pandemic that has yet to peak locally, state leaders sent thousands out to the consolidated polls.
The City of Green Bay, normally home to 32 separate polling locations consolidated to two.
This is because poll workers were down from 278 to 17.
Milwaukee County, home to nearly half of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 cases, dropped from its normal 180 polling locations to five.
The Wisconsin National Guard was called in to help work the polls because of the low numbers of available poll workers, who are often elderly and the most susceptible to the virus.
Does anybody else see the problem with this?
Well, Gov. Tony Evers did, but his last-minute attempt to postpone the election failed when the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which met virtually, denied his request in an emergency Monday meeting.
The governor’s every attempt at keeping Wisconsinites safe was met with immediate opposition.
While we are sure the intent was meant to sting politically, the result is a slap in the face of voters who are elderly and have compromised immune systems, or anyone who has fears over contracting a disease which has cost 77 lives in Wisconsin as of Monday afternoon with no cure in sight.
Health experts at the local, state and national level say the only way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home and socially isolate.
It’s especially dangerous because people can carry the virus and spread it without showing any signs.
Yet the politicians elected by the very people they should be protecting sent masses out to the crowded polls.
A common defense of this egregious act is that the state would have been susceptible to lawsuits from candidates who lost in narrow margins.
The almighty dollar rears its ugly head once again, but at what cost?
How much more strain do we want to place on hospitals and health care workers?
How many more people have to suffer before aggrandizing plutocrats in Madison decide to make the safety of Wisconsinites everywhere a priority?
It’s never been more clear, those in power at the state level who made the decision to send voters to the polls don’t care about you, the average citizen.
Next time their names appear on the ballot, we implore you to remember that.