SLIDESHOW: All WI polling places open, but some voters still waited for hours

Voters line up observing social distancing at Riverside High School for Wisconsin's primary election Tuesday April 7, 2020, in Milwaukee. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Elections Commission reported Tuesday morning that it had received no reports of polling places being unable to open as planned.

There had already been plans to consolidate polling places, especially in larger cities, due to poll workers refusing to show up due to fears of the coronavirus. Milwaukee reduced its number of polling locations from 188 to just five, and there were long lines to vote on Tuesday. One voter said she waited more than two hours to cast her ballot.

More than 2,000 Wisconsin National Guard members were ready to help staff polling places to deal with shortages.

As of Tuesday, nearly 1.3 million absentee ballots had been sent to voters across the state. But more than 408,000 still had not been returned. Only ballots postmarked by Tuesday will be counted, per a Monday order from the U.S. Supreme Court.

LONG WAITS IN MILWAUKEE

Some voters were waiting more than two hours in lines at one of Milwaukee's five polling places that are open for the state's presidential primary and spring general election.

Lines were also reported at other locations across the state on Tuesday as safety precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus were causing delays.

Voter Shannon Ochoa, from Milwaukee, said she waited more than two hours to vote at a Milwaukee high school. The line snaked around several city blocks.

In the western Wisconsin village of Holmen, voter Christopher Sullivan said he was "ashamed to be from Wisconsin today" given the voting conditions. He described police limiting the number of people who could enter the village office, a makeshift sink where he had to wash his hands and masked poll workers.

"I have voted many times in my life (and at this location) and have never experienced something so eerie," Sullivan said. "Because it is this unsafe to vote, maybe we should have postponed the election or done mail-in ballots."

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos was wearing protective gloves, a mask and gown while volunteering at a polling place in Burlington. He said the wait time there was about 30 minutes


Voters line up at Riverside High School for Wisconsin's primary election Tuesday April 7, 2020, in Milwaukee. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)