'It's almost embarrassing:' Milwaukee city leaders pin blame on all sides for election day chaos
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The election presented the most problems in Milwaukee, where as many as 50,000 voters were expected in just five polling locations throughout the day. Milwaukee leaders say it should never have happened.
There was blame on all sides for Milwaukee's election day chaos, with average wait times between one-and-a-half and two-and-a-half hours.
Mayoral candidate Lena Taylor pinned it on Mayor Tom Barrett and City Election Commission Director Neil Albrecht, for cutting 180 polling locations to five.
“Five sights? I would never have done that as mayor," Taylor said. "Five sights? Out of 180?”
Albrecht said the legislature never should have pushed forward with the election.
The Supreme Court blocked an extension for absentee ballots. Those who don't receive one had to risk the virus or not vote.
"If you are waiting for an absentee ballot and you did not receive it in today’s mail, your only voting option is to go to a voting center," said Albrecht.
The city did take precautions. There were at last four public health workers at every location and 100 workers but Mayor Barrett said it's not enough.
"This should never had occurred in the fashion it is occurring. It’s almost embarrassing that we have for weeks now been saying stay at home, stay at home, stay at home," Barrett said.
There were also 30 members of the Wisconsin National Guard at each polling location. Albrecht said they didn't know they would have that many until yesterday.
"Had we had that information sooner, I absolutely think it could have influenced the number of voting centers in the City of Milwaukee," said Albrecht.
Results from Tuesday's vote won't be available until Monday, April 13 because of the amount of absentee ballots being sent in.