The City of Milwaukee Election Commission will be launching a “drive-up” early voting option for voters starting Saturday, March 28 outside of the Zeidler Municipal Building, 841 N. Broadway. This model of early voting will provide important access to voting for city residents, but eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for election workers and the voting public. Drive-up early voting will be available on both Saturdays and Sundays preceding the election from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Early voting will end on Sunday, April 5.
Parking spaces will be reserved for drive-up voters along E. Kilbourn Avenue between Market Street and N. Broadway, and along Broadway between Kilbourn Avenue and E. Wells Street. Election staff will be dispatched to work with persons in their vehicles to review their photo ID, and then issue, secure and witness their absentee ballot.
Early voting was temporarily suspended in Milwaukee so that an assessment could be made of Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on best practices to reduce COVID-19 exposure risk during voting. The CDC and local health department guidelines advise against gatherings of more than 10 people in a space, which conflicted with the previous operations of the city’s three early voting locations.
“Other municipalities across the state have embraced this model of early voting,” said Neil Albrecht, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Election Commission. “It provides important access for people wanting to vote in the election that may have difficulty accessing by-mail absentee voting, but also helps to ensure the safety of our staff and the public.”
As part of the city’s “Vote Safe Milwaukee” campaign, Albrecht encourages residents to avoid in-person voting and instead vote absentee by mail or at the drive-up early voting site. To date, the City of Milwaukee has issued nearly 60,000 absentee ballots to residents. For health purposes and to reduce risk of exposure, voters are still encouraged to apply for an absentee ballot at myvote.wi.gov or by calling 414-286-VOTE or return their ballots by mail or, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., at a designated absentee ballot drop-off sites.