With the looming threat of an epidemic, people are preparing in all sorts of ways. Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, cold and flu medication are gone from store shelves. People are washing their hands more often, wearing masks, and telecommuting to work. Athletes and entertainers are playing for fans who are watching via television only, and events, some of them slated for several months from now, are being canceled or postponed. So what about voting?


On April 7, Wisconsinites are expected to vote in local races and cast their ballot in the presidential primary. Because of voter I.D. laws, that means long lines and wait times, and a situation where it is difficult to maintain adequate social distance.


The best way to mitigate the spread of disease, at least as far as voting is concerned, is to go down to your municipal clerk’s office and vote early. While you’re there, sign up for absentee ballots to be sent to you for the rest of the year. This is your best option to ensure that your vote will be counted, even if you, yourself, become ill. By early voting, you will not be required to spend an hour or more in a crowded room just to cast a ballot.


I used to work as poll worker. After the voter I.D. law went into effect, and I had to stand in line with more than 100 people to cast my ballot, I not only resigned as a poll worker, but signed up for absentee ballots for life. I was able to sign up for this because I have an autoimmune disease.


Anyone with a disabling condition can sign up for absentee ballots for life. I am so glad that I did this. I have since went on disability, and I am often homebound. I never want to miss voting in an election, and because of absentee voting, I never do.


So many people are taking the kinds of precautions in their day to day life that I have had to take for more than a decade. My immune system is often compromised due to the medications I need to take.


I write this to ask all of my fellow Wisconsinites to take the important precautionary step of voting via absentee ballot. Visit for more information on early voting.