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2,400 Wisconsin National Guard members expected to serve as poll workers

2,400 Wisconsin National Guard members expected to serve as poll workers

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Due to the severe shortage of poll workers statewide, 2,400 Wisconsin National Guard members are expected to work at polls Tuesday.

There are expected to be National Guard members working in all of Wisconsin's 72 counties.

The troops were trained Monday and given polling place assignments, Capt. Joe Trovato wrote in a release. They are expected to serve in civilian clothes.

“While potentially serving as poll workers in this election is a new role for the Wisconsin National Guard, serving our state and civil authorities during times of need is one of our core missions,” Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, said in a statement. “I’m incredibly proud of the Citizen Soldiers and Airmen of the Wisconsin National Guard for the versatility and adaptability they’ve demonstrated in getting ready to support this request for assistance. Bringing more than 2,400 troops online in a matter of a day is no small task, but our entire team has answered the call and will be ready to serve our state during the election, if needed.”

Gov. Tony Evers confirmed on Wednesday, after days of considering the measure, that the National Guard would be needed to sufficiently staff polling places.

In the weeks leading up to the April 7 election, which Evers tried to call off due to public health concerns but was overruled by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the Wisconsin National Guard helped polling places by "procuring and distributing items" — such as hand sanitizer, wipes and spray bottles — "to ensure safe and sanitary polling sites."

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

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