MILWAUKEE – Representative LaKeshia Myers (D-Milwaukee), issued the following statement regarding the City of Milwaukee’s closure of three early voting locations:
“Equitable access to the ballot box is the cornerstone of our democracy and ensuring that each Milwaukeean has the right to vote is of the utmost importance. The decision to close Milwaukee’s three early voting locations at the Midtown Center, Zablocki Library, and Zeidler Municipal Building leave me with more questions than answers. Mayor Barrett and other city officials have yet to issue any mandatory closures in our city; the closures that are currently in effect have been issued at the state level. If there has been no push by city leadership to mandate and enforce the closure of non-essential services such as retail outlets and package stores why is voting—which is an essential good to the community—being hampered? If keeping the three satellite locations open was not a viable option, is there not another way to allow individuals the opportunity to vote in person early? Perhaps Milwaukee could take a cue from the Village of Pleasant Prairie who is conducting in person absentee voting in a drive-thru format. Or consolidate the satellite locations from three to two, as a means to ensure adequate staffing.
As we all continue to deal with the effects of COVID-19, we have to find ways to be innovative and think outside of the box. Our state Election Commission has stated that elections will continue as scheduled for April 7th, Milwaukee residents deserve the opportunity to cast their ballots early and in-person; they also deserve leadership that is willing to think outside of the box when it comes to voting and accessing the ballot. Therefore, I am calling on Mayor Tom Barrett, Election Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht, and City of Milwaukee Election Commission Chairperson Stephanie Findley to return to the drawing board and generate a plan to help the people of Milwaukee exercise their right to vote early.”