Wisconsin GOP Lawmaker, Dressed In Full PPE Garb, Assures Us It’s Safe To Vote During Pandemic
Wisconsin held an election in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, forcing hundreds of thousands of residents to decide whether exercising their democratic rights to vote in person was worth risking their health.
The state’s Democratic Gov. Tony Evers made several attempts to delay the election and institute an all-mail race in mid-May, a move that Republicans refused to cooperate with him on. On Monday, Evers then issued an executive order on his own delaying the race until June — which legislative Republicans then appealed and got overturned, thanks to the state’s majority conservative Supreme Court.
Evers lamented the decision on Monday evening, per reporting from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“People have bled, fought, and died for the right to vote in this country,” he said. But [on Tuesday] in Wisconsin, thousands will wake up and have to choose between exercising their right to vote and staying healthy and safe.”
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos was among the most ardent Republicans insisting the election continue on as planned. On Tuesday, Vos, who also volunteers as a poll election worker, addressed reporters to assure Wisconsinites the election was completely safe — while dressed head-to-toe in personal protective equipment (PPE) meant to prevent him from getting infected with COVID-19.
The Wisconsin Spring Election, summed up in three mystifying seconds by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos wearing head-to-toe PPE: “You are incredibly safe to go out.” pic.twitter.com/u4wNEtaTk9
— Dan Shafer (@DanRShafer) April 7, 2020
Vos claimed he was required to wear the garments, though that also lends very little credence to his claims that things were safe.
“I think it really is a testament to the people who ran this election, they really know what they are doing, they worked really hard to make sure that…everybody here is safe,” he said, speaking through a mask. “You are incredibly safe to go out [to vote].”
There is some evidence to suggest that Wisconsin’s election will invariably lead to a spread of coronavirus among the state’s populace. A comparison between two states that took differing paths on the issue last month — Ohio, which canceled its elections, and Michigan, which did not — found that in the latter’s case, there was a monumentally larger rate of infections weeks later compared to the former.
Though Ohio has a larger population than Michigan, only 4,782 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state as of Wednesday morning. Michigan, meanwhile, has 18,852 cases.
The two states took nearly identical paths in closing restaurants and bars, closing their schools, and issuing stay-at-home orders.