Despite the pandemic, these Milwaukee residents showed up to vote at Marshall High School on April 7. "We need some changes in the city and the country, and I’m here and I’m going to vote come hell or high water," says Glenda Davenport, center. Also pictured are Fred Real, left, and Greg Michel, right. Credit: Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch
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Portrait of a pandemic — in pictures and words


Of note: This week we highlight important coronavirus reports produced by Wisconsin Watch’s reporters, photographers and editors.  With our partners at Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, we reported on voters of color debating whether it was safe to go to the polls. We documented the state’s historic pandemic election in photos, video (including from a drone) and stories. And, with our partners at PBS Wisconsin and WPR, we revealed that hundreds of absentee ballots — perhaps more — were never delivered to voters. Additionally, as a follow-up to a joint effort with WPR, we reported on hospitals that have now suspended lawsuits to collect on debts during the pandemic.

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Despite the pandemic, these Milwaukee residents showed up to vote at Marshall High School on April 7. Pictured from left to right: Fred Real, Glenda Davenport and Greg Michel. Credit: Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Portraits of a pandemic: Milwaukee voters go to the polls

Wisconsin Watch — April 8, 2020

Milwaukee voters turned out by the thousands to cast their ballots Tuesday during an extraordinary time in history when most residents are staying home under the governor’s “Safer at Home” directive. Risking their health, these Milwaukee residents — many clad in protective gear — showed up. They waited, sometimes for hours, to participate in democracy. 

Fox Point Village Manager Scott Botcher said this photo is of the 175 absentee ballots that were returned by the postal service to the village on Election Day — too late to be sent to voters. Credit: Courtesy of Scott Botcher

Returned to sender: Postal officials investigating Wisconsin absentee ballots that were never delivered

Wisconsin Watch — April 8, 2020

Fox Point officials say scores of ballots did not get to voters after the post office repeatedly returned them. The U.S. Postal Service is investigating.

Musicians Olu Sijuwade, left, and Guy Fiorentini play jazz to entertain voters waiting in line outside Riverside High School in Milwaukee on April 7. Credit: Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Through the photographer’s eye: A journey from countryside to cityscape during Wisconsin’s pandemic election

Wisconsin Watch — April 10, 2020

Wisconsin Watch photographer Coburn Dukehart and reporter Lauren Fuhrmann documented scenes from Door County to Milwaukee during the election on April 7.

Voters stand in a blocks-long line as the Milwaukee city skyline rises in the background on April 7, during the primary election. Credit: Coburn Dukehart and Lauren Fuhrmann / Wisconsin Watch

Wisconsin’s pandemic election: Long waits, face masks as voters go to polls

Wisconsin Watch — April 7, 2020

Wisconsin’s election during the coronavirus pandemic was marked by lines of voters stretching for blocks on Tuesday in Milwaukee and frustration that some residents were forced to choose between risking their health and relinquishing their right to vote.

Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee is seen on Nov. 1, 2019. Credit: Gretchen Brown / WPR

Hospitals dismissing lawsuits during coronavirus pandemic

Wisconsin Public Radio/Wisconsin Watch — April 6, 2020

Two Wisconsin hospitals that filed medical debt lawsuits against dozens of patients during the coronavirus pandemic are dismissing some of those lawsuits following an earlier WPR/Wisconsin Watch story that revealed the practice.

Brook Soltvedt, a Madison, Wis., election inspector, shows the gear she will need to run Tuesday’s election — including latex gloves, face shields, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. Photo taken April 6. Credit: Dee J. Hall / Wisconsin Watch

‘People are going to get sick from this’: Fear, uncertainty cloud pandemic election

Wisconsin Watch — April 6, 2020

A Madison election inspector took extreme measures to get ready for in-person voting during the coronavirus crisis. And in Milwaukee, voters of color, hard-hit by the pandemic, decided whether it was safe to vote. 

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (wisconsinwatch.org) collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, PBS Wisconsin, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

The byline "Wisconsin Watch" represents members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's editorial and public engagement and marketing staff.