Election officials in the Midwestern U.S. state of Wisconsin are set to release results Monday from last week’s Democratic presidential primary vote.
The figures were delayed by a legal battle that saw Democratic Gov. Tony Evers try to postpone voting due to the coronavirus outbreak, only to have his decision overturned by the state’s conservative-dominated supreme court.
Those who opposed going ahead with the vote said it made little public health sense to have people show up to polling places in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of would-be Election Day workers refused to keep their promise to show up at polling stations to check in voters on registration lists.
In Milwaukee, the state’s biggest city, only five of 180 polling stations were opened, with some voters forced to stand in line for up to 2 ½ hours to cast ballots. Health care workers handed out face masks to voters, who mostly stayed at least two meters apart from others waiting in line.
The Republican-led legislature advocated holding the vote because many state and local offices were on the ballot and, absent a vote, would have left the positions vacant if the vote were postponed to June as Evers wanted to do.
Judges said voters could submit ballots by mail if they were postmarked by Election Day and received by Monday for counting.
The announcement of the presidential primary winner will be anticlimactic.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination the day after Wisconsin voted, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden as the party’s presumptive choice to oppose Republican President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 national election for a new four-year term in the White House.
Early polls show Biden with a slight edge over Trump in Wisconsin, which, just as in 2016, is expected to play a key role in the national outcome in November. Trump narrowly won the state four years ago over Democrat Hillary Clinton, the first time a Republican presidential candidate had won the state since 1984.
The U.S. does not conduct its presidential elections by popular vote, instead by the Electoral College, in which the outcomes in each of the 50 states help determine the national winner, with the biggest states holding the most votes.