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'It's almost embarrassing:' Milwaukee city leaders pin blame on all sides for election day chaos

NOW: ’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. 

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DavidRoser 47 days ago
The leadership in Milwaukee caused this issue. Not the State. Even Dane County had almost all their polling locations open. People that want to blame the legislature need to wake up. Barret did this on his own. People are waiting in line all over Milwaukee to check out at the stores. There is NO difference in waiting in line to Vote. There was a reason he cut the poll places down to 5, and it had nothing to do with the virus.

Kevin DavidRoser 45 days ago
Long lines and closed polling locations were reported in Waukesha, Green Bay, Lacrosse, Oshkosh and other communities. I believe Waukesha went down to 1 polling location. So Mayor Barrett did what on his own?? Facts are so easy to find and so annoying arent they?
Homer 49 days ago
"There were also 30 members of the Wisconsin National Guard at each polling location."

Where will the Wisconsin National Guard be used next in Milwaukee?

Why? Who specifically is the threat?
Kopps 49 days ago
In a couple weeks, we will see the Vos/Fitzgerald spike in COVID-19 cases,especially in the big cities. Go ahead and thank them. When their small town health clinics won't be able to handle the sick caseload, where do they think they are going to go? The big city hospitals. They are the COVIDidiots.
LegionoftheDamned 49 days ago
For weeks, Evers had steadfastly refused to delay the election, even when others asked for it and even sued over it. Now, though, he is shamelessly trying to blame Republicans and pretend that he had nothing to do with an election that is moving forward solely because he demanded it.

Yet now that the rest of the country is asking why, he is trying to deflect from the obvious answer: Because Tony Evers wanted this election to move forward.

Until he suddenly didn't.
Evers did not sue the State of WI in the Supreme Court to stop voting expansion.
Vos and Fitzgerald did.
Evers did not refuse to move the date to June 9.
Vos and Fitzgerald did in their sham legislative session the Governor demanded.
The truth is so-called Republicans despise the very idea of voter turnout. And the proof is all around you. Wake up.
Kevin LegionoftheDamned 49 days ago
Wow - try to rewrite the facts if u want. Governor Evers called the special session of the Legislature to move the election date. Vos and Fitzgerald never allowed the Assembly or Senate to meet. Why not discuss and debate and vote on moving the date? Then Governor Evers issued an order to move the date. Republicans sued to force the election. Conservative Justices ruled that the election had to be kept. Vos and Fitzgerald forced this no matter how u want to claim otherwise. Facts are facts.
Danenetics 50 days ago
Just remember what happened today and vote accordingly in November.
Lawrence 50 days ago
The fact is the R Legislature would block anything to solve the problem of safe voting.
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