Wisconsin National Guard to assist with special election on May 12

Members of the Wisconsin National Guard will be assisting at polling locations for the special election for the 7th congressional district race amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The special election on May 12 is being held to fill the seat that former Congressman Sean Duffy left behind when he resigned. The race is between Democrat Tricia Zunker, a Wausau school district board member, and Republican Tom Tiffany, a Wisconsin state senator.

Last month for the presidential primary, more than 2,400 Wisconsin National Guard members assisted poll workers. For the upcoming special election, about 250 Guard soldiers and airmen will be called upon to help as many volunteer poll workers are staying home to avoid contracting the virus. The Guard members will be dressed in civilian clothing while working the polls.

“They will greet and check-in voters, monitor voting equipment, assist with keeping social distance and help sanitize," said Brig. Gen. Robyn Blader, Wisconsin’s assistant adjutant general, in a statement. "Like other volunteer workers, they do not certify the results."

The 7th congressional district is the state's largest in terms of size and is made up of 21 counties and parts of five others. It spans from central to northwestern Wisconsin.

Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes were shipped to the counties throughout the district. County and municipal clerks have encouraged people to vote by absentee ballot due to COVID-19 concerns.