Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks candidly about her family and personal journey, but, in a rare instance Tuesday, Obama spoke out about a political decision in Wisconsin she said put put voters at risk.
On Twitter, the former first lady blasted the state’s Supreme Court judges who overturned an executive order by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to postpone his state’s primary election. The primary went forward Tuesday despite the national calls to stay home and avoid gathering in public if at all possible.
The 56-year-old author and speaker said she wanted the U.S., including Wisconsin, to “do better to ensure voting is safe for all voters.”
“Today, Wisconsin voters had to choose between making their voice heard and keeping themselves and their family safe,” Obama tweeted. “No American should ever have to make that choice.”
Wisconsin’s decision did not go off without issues Tuesday. With many opting to preserve their health, poll worker shortages were present across the state, according to news site FiveThirtyEight.
The lack of workers led to polling locations closing early or altogether, which meant long, congregated lines on Election Day at the remaining locations, the news site reported. Milwaukee — a city of almost 600,000 people — had five polling places open. As a result, wait times in Milwaukee averaged an hour and a half to two hours, with some voters waiting as long as 2.5 hours to cast their ballots.
Fifteen other states, including Georgia, have postponed their state primary elections until later because of the virus.
The Wisconsin decision did not sit well with many who responded to Obama’s tweet. Wisconsin has more than 2,700 cases and nearly 100 people have died from COVID-19 there.
Some who tweeted Obama back said the decision seemed fueled by political game-playing.
“We must do better to ensure voting is safe for all voters,” the former first lady said in her tweet. She linked to information about how Wisconsin can ensure absentee ballots are counted.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.