Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During a difficult time for all voters but especially for Latinx voters, Voces de la Frontera Action has so far helped over 1,200 Wisconsin voters obtain absentee ballots.
“The pandemic meant we couldn’t reach people door-to-door, so we focused on getting absentee ballots to our multi-racial and Latinx base,” said Political Director Fabi Maldonado.
Voces de la Frontera Action is a political advocacy group affiliated with Voces de la Frontera, Wisconsin’s largest immigrant-rights organization.
As of April 1, 2020, the state reported having 1.1 million absentee ballot requests. But the April election four years ago attracted more than 2 million voters.
This means that only half of those who voted in 2012 have even requested an absentee ballot. And so far, only 43% of the ballots mailed out have been received, state officials said.
A federal judge Thursday ordered an extension of the time limit for accepting absentee ballots and a loosening of rules on ballots requiring a witness signature.
“It’s a move in the right direction,” said Maldonado. “But clearly, the best solution for all voters would have been to postpone the April 7 election and extend absentee voting until the new date.”
Keeping to the April 7 date puts in-person voters at physical risk of infection, and the short time frame for absentee voting–even extended by six days– has jeopardized the voting rights of up 1 million people.
Voces de la Frontera Action will continue to help people file absentee ballots through the new deadline, April 13.