Evers deploys National Guard to assist in Aug. 11 election.

Plainclothes National Guard troops will help offset a coronaviurs-driven shortage of poll workers across Wisconsin. Photo: Department of Military Affairs, public domain.

Author: Sam Buisman

Governor Tony Evers deploys the National Guard to help run the Aug. 11 partisan primary. 

On Wednesday afternoon, the governor ordered a statewide mobilization of the National Guard to assist in setting up and running polling locations across Wisconsin to make up for a coronavirus-driven shortage of poll workers. While Evers did not specify the number of troops to be deployed, he indicated that troops may have to be activated in all 72 Wisconsin counties. 

In a press release, Evers praised the National Guard for their continued role in combatting COVID-19. 

“Time and time again the Guard has stepped up to help their neighbors, friends, and communities,” said Evers, “as they will be doing on election day by helping to ensure that every Wisconsinite can vote safely without fear for their health.” 

This marks the third election in which the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed Governor Evers to loop in National Guard troops for assistance. According to the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, the National Guard deployed over 2,400 troops across Wisconsin to assist in the April 7 election and 160 troops during the May 12 special election. 

The Office of the Governor specified that this new mobilization will not detract from the nearly 1,100 soldiers currently serving across the state in support of its coronavirus-response efforts

In Madison, early voting has already begun for the Aug. 11 election via 18 in-person absentee voting sites around the city.