Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Milwaukee scraps early voting plans at Fiserv, Miller Park
0 Comments
alert

Milwaukee scraps early voting plans at Fiserv, Miller Park

  • 0

Election officials said Tuesday that they scrapped their plans to use the Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers' stadiums as early voting sites in the presidential battleground state of Wisconsin, citing fear that the ballots could be legally challenged.

Milwaukee's city election commission had planned to use Fiserv Forum and Miller Park between Oct. 20 and Nov. 1 as sites where people could vote early in-person or return absentee ballots received by mail. The commission developed the plan in an effort to provide safe voting sites during the coronavirus pandemic.

But executive director Claire Woodall-Vogg said the plans were being shelved due to concerns that the sites had been designated later than required by state law. The Wisconsin Elections Commission said in a memo Monday that all early voting sites were to have been designated by June 12; the plan for Fiserv and Miller Park was implemented Sept. 1.

Woodall-Vogg also noted that a federal judge in Madison last month refused a request to suspend the June deadline and allow clerks to set up additional sites.

"We want residents of Milwaukee to feel complete and unwavering confidence that their ballot will be counted in the election and this action (canceling the plan) reflects that commitment," she said in a statement.

NBA players pushed to allow voting in their arenas as a condition of returning to play after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court for a playoff game following the Aug. 23 shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white police officer in Kenosha. The officer shot Blake in the back seven times, leaving him partially paralyzed. Many in the league of primarily Black players say minorities in many cities need places to vote safely. Atlanta, Detroit, Charlotte, North Carolina, Sacramento, California, New York, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, Utah, all agreed to such plans.

The Bucks issued a measured statement on the news.

"While we were excited to welcome voters to Fiserv Forum to cast their ballots in a safe and accessible way, we remain just as committed to encouraging and educating people to vote and making our voices heard in this election," the team said.

Voting events were still on track in other NBA cities. In Denver, the Pepsi Center was set to open Oct. 30 for early in-person voting or ballot drop-off, and the Nuggets tweeted Tuesday to encourage followers to vote early. In Atlanta, the Hawks' stadium was used in an August primary and was set to open next week for early voting. The Jazz's arena in Salt Lake City was to be an Election Day voting site.

Brewers officials declined to comment.

Republicans across the country have been fighting attempts to expand voting. Wisconsin's Republican Party sent a warning last week about the Fiserv and Miller Park events, warning that allowing players or mascots to take part would amount to illegal electioneering. Woodall-Vogg said the letter played no role in the cancellation.

Wisconsin is expected to be a pivotal state in November after President Donald Trump won it by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016. Milwaukee and Madison are Democratic strongholds and anything that could make it more difficult to cast a ballot or invalidate ballots could have huge ramifications.

Woodall-Vogg noted that the city is still offering 13 in-person early voting locations spread out across the city.

"We are doing everything within our ability to make sure every person in this city has a fair chance to cast a ballot and regret we are not able to pursue the unique opportunity of integrating these two well-known locations," Mayor Tom Barrett said, referring to Fiserv Form and Miller Park.


Associated Press writers Steve Megargee in Milwaukee, Kate Brumback in Atlanta, Sophia Eppolito in Salt Lake City and Jim Anderson in Denver contributed to this report.

AP's Advance Voting guide brings you the facts about voting early, by mail or absentee from each state: https://interactives.ap.org/advance-voting-2020/

Follow the Wisconsin State Journal's 2020 presidential election coverage

The candidates for the Nov. 3 election have accepted their party nominations. Who will win the key battleground state of Wisconsin?

topical alert featured
  • 0

Still, last-minute court rulings could mean results being delayed in Wisconsin by days. 

topical top story alert
  • 0

Big margins in northern Wisconsin were critical to President Donald Trump's 2016 win in Wisconsin.

  • 0

The few Wisconsin delegates who traveled to this week’s Republican National Convention in North Carolina said the event — which was downsized …

topical top story
  • 0

Only four of Wisconsin's 52 GOP delegates plan to attend the scaled-down Charlotte convention, while others will watch from home.

topical alert
  • 0

At one point, Baldwin was considered near the top of Biden's list of potential picks to run alongside him for the presidency this fall.

topical alert
  • 0

Kicking off the DNC on Wednesday from the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, Evers expressed regret that the convention, which shifted last week to a mostly online event due to COVID-19, could not be held in-person.

topical top story
  • 0

"As we all recognize, it’s not exactly what we thought it was going to be, but what we’ve been forced to deal with," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said of the first-of-its-kind convention.

topical alert featured
  • 0

In addition to once boasting more than 50,000 visitors and hundreds of millions of tourism dollars, Milwaukee's political bash also aimed to cleanse Democrats' palate of Trump's margin-thin victory over Hillary Clinton here in 2016.

breaking topical top story
  • 0

Biden leads Trump 49% to 43% among Wisconsin respondents. Biden's lead in Wisconsin widens to 52% to 44% among voters who say they are "certain" to vote in November.

topical alert top story
  • 0

Biden led by a 6-point margin among likely voters over Trump in a June Marquette poll.

breaking topical top story
  • 0

Republican President Donald Trump also has caused controversy for saying he might deliver acceptance speech at White House.

topical alert top story
  • 0

Community organizers in Milwaukee have shifted their voter outreach programs to focus on mail-in absentee ballot education.

topical alert
  • 0

The poll also found former Vice President Joe Biden widening his lead over President Donald Trump in the state and a declining concern among Wisconsinites over the COVID-19 pandemic.

topical alert top story
  • 0

Perceptions of whether or not the president delivered on the promises he made during his 2016 campaign differ drastically along party lines.

topical alert top story
  • 0

The latest poll's results come as Wisconsin faces unprecedented unemployment numbers, which have risen sharply following state efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by shutting down some businesses or limiting services at others.

topical alert
  • 0

Sen. Bernie Sanders, who won the state four years ago, was still in the race when the polls closed last Tuesday, but he suspended his campaign the following day — nearly a week before results would be reported. On Monday, he endorsed Joe Biden.

topical alert featured
  • 0

Organizers are searching for ways to empower voters in communities of color and low-income areas that saw a decrease in turnout during the 2016 general election. 

topical alert top story
  • 0

As the remaining Democratic presidential candidates look to begin large-scale campaign efforts in Wisconsin, they enter a battleground state that already has received considerable attention from President Donald Trump.

topical alert top story
  • 0

In this week’s Front Page podcast, Wisconsin State Journal state and politics reporter Mitchell Schmidt discusses the field of candidates, the upsets, the victories, and what Wisconsin voters will have to look forward to, as we near the Democratic National Convention.

breaking topical
  • 0

All other major candidates in the race received between 9 and 17% support.

topical alert top story
  • 0

In the general election, President Donald Trump faces a tight race against the Democratic field in Wisconsin.

topical alert
  • 0

Results of a new Wisconsin state-wide poll, released Sunday, show Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in a commanding lead ahead of Democratic presidential nominees. But, given the surprise outcome of the 2016 presidential election, the question remains: How accurate are political polls in an election year?

topical alert
  • 0

UW-Madison's Elections Research Center plans to launch a new poll to complement the Marquette Law School Poll.

0 Comments

Concerned about COVID-19?

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Badger Sports

Breaking News

Crime

Politics