Fred Royal, the Milwaukee head of the NAACP, walks empty streets near his home in a largely black neighborhood hit hard by the coronavirus. He knows three people who have died. Darren Hauck, special to ProPublica
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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Just when you thought Wisconsin’s election couldn’t get any more chaotic, Monday happened. Eighteen hours before Tuesday’s polls were set to open, Gov. Tony Evers ordered the election postponed until June 9 — an effort to protect voters from a worsening viral pandemic. Republicans called the move unconstitutional and instantly challenged the order in the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The court’s conservative majority agreed, reinstating voting for Tuesday. 

Today we highlight several stories chronicling the chaos. Molly Beck and Patrick Marley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report on the flurry of orders and legal filings that brought us to this moment. Dee J. Hall, Wisconsin Watch managing editor, profiles a veteran poll worker who describes Madison’s extraordinary lengths to protect poll workers and voters. And Allison Dikanovic of Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service details fears of disenfranchisement in Milwaukee as black and brown voters choose between participating in democracy or protecting their health.

Top stories

Fred Royal, the Milwaukee head of the NAACP, walks empty streets near his home in a largely black neighborhood hit hard by the coronavirus. He knows three people who have died. Darren Hauck, special to ProPublica

‘People are going to get sick from this’: Fear, uncertainty cloud Wisconsin’s pandemic electionWisconsin Watch

Wisconsin Supreme Court reinstates Tuesday’s election, overturning Gov. Tony Evers orderMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Concerns of disenfranchisement intensify as black and brown voters weigh voting during the coronavirusMilwaukee Neighborhood News Service 

Wisconsin hospitals sued patients during a public health emergency. Two are now dismissing some suits. Wisconsin Watch/WPR

Early data shows African Americans have contracted and died of coronavirus at an alarming rateProPublica

‘Nobody’s got a map for this mess’: Wisconsin counties brace for unknown hit to sales tax Wisconsin State Journal

UW Health to start treating coronavirus patients with plasma as part of clinical trialsMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Thousands of patients see procedures postponed as hospitals prep for COVID-19 surgeThe Cap Times 

Before coronavirus, grocery stores filled delivery and pickup orders in hours. Now it’s daysThe Appleton Post-Crescent

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Government updates

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Gov. Tony Evers’ office

U.S. Centers and Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization 

Live updates 

Live blog from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and USA Today-Wisconsin reporters 

Photos from the Wisconsin State Journal show how the virus affects Wisconsin

Live blog from Wisconsin Public Radio reporters. 


“It’s a time where journalism is needed more than any other time that I can think of — to give factual information that people can use to keep themselves and their families safe. But (the pandemic) is also making it really hard for news organizations to stay afloat.”

Dee J. Hall, managing editor of Wisconsin Watch, speaking to Patty Peltekos on A Public Affair, a production of WORT 89.9 FM in Madison.

Stats to note

As of Monday afternoon, black residents comprised 601 of Milwaukee County’s 1,304 confirmed coronavirus cases (46%) and 33 of 45 deaths (73%). Black residents make up just 26% of the county’s population. Milwaukee is among few U.S. communities tracking the racial breakdown of those affected by coronavirus, ProPublica reports, and those data show the virus’ disproportionate effects on black communities. 

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us:

A socially distant celebration: Pandemic prompts a birthday parade instead of a partyWisconsin State Journal 

Peter Leidy of Madison shared this photo and wrote: 

Sometimes when you’re on our block, you’ll see us giving 10s. You get a 10 just for being you. For being with your people, your pet, on your bike, in your wheelchair, on your skateboard, during your run. You are just perfect the way you are. We’ll get through this. Everybody gets a 10!

A mural in Milwaukee’s Washington Heights neighborhood offers a message of solidarity.

Beautiful! from r/milwaukee

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