Veteran poll inspector Brook Soltvedt says Madison has done everything it can to keep voters safe, but in-person voting is bound to make some people sick.
Wisconsin Watch’s reporters and editors are investigating state and local impacts of the global pandemic and issues related to quality of life in Wisconsin. This page groups together all our original reporting, as well as our roundups of news from around the state and nation.
Pandemic leaves Wisconsin election in complete chaos — 4/3/20
Election day is fast approaching in Wisconsin, and the coronavirus pandemic leaves it in complete disarray. Today we highlight a story by The Guardian’s Sam Levin, reported in collaboration with Wisconsin Watch, about the electoral chaos — from fearful and overwhelmed election workers to changing deadlines that could lead to widespread confusion.
‘Over our heads in chaos’: Wisconsin election in flux amid pandemic fears
Gov. Tony Evers calls the Legislature into special session Saturday, pushing for a delay and voting by mail; GOP leader says the majority will not go along.
Madison poll worker says ‘no’ to staffing election during the pandemic
Lynn Danielson, a retired Cap Times editorial page editor, says the pandemic forced her to make the hard decision not to work at her local polling place on Tuesday.
Closing the Door: Wisconsin’s iconic tourist destination asks people to stay away — for now
As Door County sees its first COVID-19 cases, locals debate whether part-time residents should postpone coming back until the crisis is over.
Door County urges part-timers to stay away during pandemic — 4/2/20
A key refrain from government officials and public health experts has not changed: Defeat COVID-19 by staying away from each other (and wash your hands, of course). So sparsely populated Door County, with its state parks and wide-open spaces, might seem like an ideal place for a city dweller to weather the viral storm.
Pandemic doesn’t stop medical debt lawsuits — 4/1/20
Life in Wisconsin has been transformed since March 12, when Gov. Tony Evers declared a Public Health Emergency to combat coronavirus. Businesses have shuttered, while public officials urge residents to stay at home. Today we highlight a story about one practice that has not completely stopped in recent weeks: Some hospitals continue to sue patients over medical debt, reports Bram Sable-Smith, a Wisconsin Public Radio fellow embedded in the Wisconsin Watch newsroom.
‘You’ve been served’: Wisconsin hospitals sue patients over debt — even during pandemic
Wisconsin hospitals have filed at least 104 lawsuits in small claims court since Gov. Tony Evers declared a Public Health Emergency on March 12.
Wisconsin unemployment system overwhelmed by demands — 3/31/20
As COVID-19 cases continue to spike across Wisconsin, we are getting a glimpse of how many systems this pandemic can overwhelm. It is not just health care. Today we highlight a story by Rob Mentzer of Wisconsin Public Radio about the state’s unemployment insurance system. Some are calling its helpline only to hear a recording that says too many are on hold, and they will be disconnected.
Resilient Wisconsin: Health care workers on the front lines — 3/30/20
The COVID-19 pandemic resembles a war in many respects. Wisconsinites, like others, speak of battling the virus, and we are watching casualties pile up; At least 1,221 people have tested positive in Wisconsin as of Monday afternoon, and at least 14 have died. Today we highlight a cartoon by Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Steve Benson of Creators Syndicate. It captures the spirit of a nation at war against a virus, with health care workers fighting on the front lines.
How Wisconsinites can help during the pandemic
Donations of money, food, time and personal protective equipment are needed as neighbors help neighbors through the coronavirus crisis.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers relaxes rules to boost health care workforce during coronavirus pandemic
The changes will last throughout the state’s Public Health Emergency, and they will affect doctors, nurses and physician assistants.