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Election officials urge residents to vote absentee, seek younger poll workers

NOW: Election officials urge residents to vote absentee, seek younger poll workers

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee election officials are encouraging residents to vote by absentee ballots for the April 7 presidential primary.

"The city of Milwaukee, along with all municipalities in the state of Wisconsin are moving forward with our preparation," Election Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht said.

The office has already received more than 12,000 requests for absentee ballots. 

"We are receiving, on average, 1,000 requests per day in the city of Milwaukee," Albrecht said. "We anticipate somewhere between 50-60,000 residents in this city will vote."

Early voting starts on Monday.

There are three locations in the city of Milwaukee, with extended evening and weekend hours.

Some polling locations have been relocated and residents will be notified if this affects their voting district.

For in-person voting, people are encouraged to bring their own black, ball-point pen to the polls, Mayor Tom Barrett said.

Barrett also strongly encouraged younger people, who are at a lower risk of contracting the Coronavirus, to become poll workers. 

At this time, 50% of poll workers are 60 years of age and older, according to Barrett.

"We will need about 1,800 workers," Barrett said. "We don't want to have a lot of people at the polls on election day. We want people to vote but because of the social distancing, we want to make sure that we're doing everything we can to abide by what we all understand is an important goal."

"We want those election workers to be able to sit out this election but they won't do so if they're concerned about who is going to replace them at those voting sites because they are so dedicated," added Albrecht.

Albrecht said the election leaders are in daily contact with the Milwaukee Health Department to keep the safety of workers and voters.

The Commission has also set up a voter information hotline at (414) 278-VOTE (8683).

Wednesday is the deadline to register to vote by mail.

County parks facilities, used as polling places, will be sanitized and open on election day.

To become a poll worker for the Spring election, click here.

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