WASHINGTON - The Midwestern state of Wisconsin will wait until at least Monday to release the results of its Democratic presidential primary, which went ahead with in-person voting despite concerns about coronavirus spread.
The delay is to give time for election officials to receive ballots submitted by people who preferred to use the mail system to cast their vote.
Those ballots could be submitted as late as Tuesday, the same polling places were open, as long as the ballots are delivered by Monday to be counted.
The number of polling places was sharply reduced throughout the state, with hundreds of Election Day poll workers refusing to honor their commitment to work for fear of contracting the deadly virus as they checked in voters off registration lists.
In Milwaukee, the state’s biggest city, only five of the planned 180 polling stations were open.
But long lines of self-distancing voters quickly emerged at the open polling stations, with healthcare workers handing out masks to people waiting in line.
As the day wore on, some voters waited up to 2 ½ hours to cast a ballot.
“We have moved forward with an election,” the top Milwaukee election official, Neil Albrecht, said, “but we have not moved forward with democracy in the state of Wisconsin.”
The voting started after the conservative-dominated state supreme court, in a 4-2 ruling Monday, overrode an executive order by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to postpone in-person voting until June. He had called off voting after people throughout the state said it was too dangerous to risk voting as the number of coronavirus cases mounts by the day.
Wisconsin has more than 2,400 confirmed coronavirus cases and 84 recorded deaths.
More than a dozen U.S. states postponed their Democratic primaries scheduled for April and May in hopes that weeks from now it will be safe for people to cast ballots in person.
Voters are deciding which candidate will face Republican President Donald Trump in the November national election. The once-crowded Democratic race is down to former Vice President Joe Biden, who leads in pledged delegates, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
WATCH: Wisconsin voters practice social-distancing