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Voting Deputies Cleared To Return To Wisconsin Nursing Homes

GOP Lawmakers Challenged Commission To Promulgate Policy As Emergency Rule

a blue sign says "VOTE" with an arrow
A sign points to a polling location Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in downtown Madison. Angela Major/WPR

Wisconsin election officials have cleared the way for special voting deputies to return to nursing homes ahead of the April 6 elections.

Wisconsin law allows municipal clerks to send deputies into nursing homes to help residents complete absentee ballots. The state Elections Commission directed clerks not to send deputies to homes in March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. That policy has remained in place.

Republican legislators last month challenged the commission to promulgate the policy as an emergency rule.

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The commission voted unanimously Tuesday to direct clerks to contact nursing homes by March 12 to see if the facilities will allow deputies inside. The commission also voted unanimously to start drawing up an emergency rule reflecting the new policy.