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Voters face lengthy lines in Wisconsin, final primary results may take days

The coronavirus has had major impact on Democratic presidential primary, canceling rallies and refocusing Americans' attention

Updated: April 7, 2020 - 11:04pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Some Wisconsin voters who ventured to the polls Tuesday endured long lines even as many of their fellow Americans across the nation hunker down at home amid the coronavirus crisis.

Absentee ballots postmarked by April 7 and received by April 13 can be counted, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which noted that Executive Director of the Milwaukee Election Commission Neil Albrecht said his office will not release results until next week once the absentee votes are counted.

President Trump on Twitter urged Wisconsinites to "get out and vote NOW for Justice Daniel Kelly."

The voting Tuesday came on the heels of a dramatic day in which the governor and the country’s highest court intervened as a result of the coronavirus. 

Voters picked between Democratic candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and front-running Joe Biden, the former vice president who has a seemingly insurmountable delegate-count lead.

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination has in recent weeks and months faded from the national attention, as the fatal coronavirus sweeps across the country and Americans stay indoors trying to slow the spread and largely focus on other news like the virus death tolls and whether their city might be the next hotspot. The virus has also halted rallies, victory speeches and other attention-grabbing events typically associated with presidential campaigns. 

On Monday, Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers tried with an executive order to postpone in-person voting by two months – largely because of stay-at-home mandates. But within hours, the state Supreme Court ruled Evers does not possess the authority to delay such voting, so the state's primary will still be held on Tuesday. 

The ruling was followed by the Supreme issuing a 5-4 ruling that Wisconsin cannot have extended absentee voting. The decision overturns a U.S. district judge's ruling that added six days to absentee voting for the state.

Going into Tuesday's contest Biden lead Sanders in the officials delegate count 1,196 to 883, in the race to 1,991 to win the nomination at the party convention in Milwaukee, which has been postponed from mid-July to August 17.

Sanders won two of three early-state contests. But his path toward the nomination was stopped by Biden victories in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday. Sanders, a democratic-socialist, has resisted calls from party members to end his campaign so Democrats can focus on stopping President Trump from reelection. 

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