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GOP Responds to Evers' Absentee Ballot Request; Other Developments

March 27. 2020 2:10p; Updated 3:30p; Updated 5:30p

Latest state and local developments from WGTD, WPR & the AP: 

*Gov. Evers said Friday that he's asking the state legislature to meet in special session to authorize the sending of absentee ballots for the Apr. 7th election to every registered voter. He also wants to give municipal clerks more time to count absentee ballots. It's unlikely that the Republlican-controlled legislature will do so. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald calls the request a "complete fantasy." He says there's no way clerks can procure, print, verify and mail millions of ballots in just days and acting like they can is a "hoax." 

*The number of deaths in Wisconsin due to the virus rose by 5 to 13. Over half of the deaths are in Milwaukee, and are disproportionally affecting the black community. The experts warn that decades of social, political and economic disadvantages are creating a toxic stew that puts people's lives at risk in Milwaukee like no time before. Evers said Friday that a team from the CDC is in Milwaukee studying the issue. 

*Lake County, Illinois has reported its first deaths because of the virus. A man in his 50s and a woman in her 90s, both with underlying conditions, died this week at separate hospitals in the county, according to the coroner. The confirmed number of cases in the county jumped by 38 to 222. The health department is monitoring clusters of cases at five long-term care facilities that have a combined total of 20 cases. 

*The number of confirmed cases in Racine County has doubled since mid-week, rising from 8 to 17. Kenosha County is reporting 24 cases, up from 19 on Wednesday. Walworth County remains at 5. 

*Evers has directed the courts to suspend evictions and foreclosures amid the health emergency.

*Secretary-designee Andrea Palm of the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services says it'll be several weeks before the results of Gov. Evers' 'Safer at Home' campaign will be evident. That's because of the lag time between patients getting infected and developing symptoms. Evers predicted that things will get worse before they get better. 

*In Kenosha, filled-out absentee ballots for the Apr. 7th election can be mailed in as long as they arrive on or before election day. They can also be dropped off at the Municipal Building before 8 p.m. on election day. The white drop box located on 8th Ave. near the driveway to city hall has been designated for ballots. Voters are asked to not drop off ballots at polling places. 

*In Racine, early in-person voting at City Hall has been extended to include the next two Saturdays, Mar. 28th and Apr. 4th, from 11 to 3. The city still encourages people to vote by mail. 

*myvote.wi.gov is the place to go to register to vote (deadline Mar. 30th) or to request an absentee ballot by mail (deadline Apr. 2nd).

*Pleasant Prairie is offering its registered voters drive-by voting. It's available at the Prange Municipal Center through 5 p.m. Apr. 3rd. Because of a shortage of poll workers, the village will open just one polling place. The location will be the Village Hall Auditorium. Only five residents will be allowed in at a time. The rest will need to wait outside. 

*The Racine County Sheriff's office is spearheading an effort to manufacture facemasks that can be used by first responders. Inmates in the Racine County Jail and at the Ellsworth Correctional Facility who've volunteered for such work have joined community members in making more than 2,300 facemasks, according to a news release from the county. 

*Cancelations & Notices: Western Kenosha County Transit is continuing to offer door-to-door and regular fixed-route public transit to Kenosha County residents west of I-94. Riders needing to make essential trips are encouraged to request door-to-door service instead of relying on the fixed route. Service may be extended to destinations in neighboring Wisconsin counties, based on availability. This may include essential trips to Milwaukee...Kenosha's Municipal Golf Course remains closed and the opening date for the season will be determined at a later date...Chocolate Fest in Burlington is canceled...

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