How Wisconsin is keeping in-person voting safe during COVID-19 surge

Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief election official, addresses voter safety, rejected ballots and election night results.
3:58 | 10/21/20

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Transcript for How Wisconsin is keeping in-person voting safe during COVID-19 surge
We are turning our attention to Wisconsin, a closely watched battle ground state in the 2020 presidential election. Polls opened for early in-person voting there yesterday. Yesterday was also the same day they reported a staggering 4,591 new coronavirus cases. That's a new daily record. We want to bring in Wisconsin election's commission administrator Meagan Wolfe. Thank you for being here. We'll get into some of the challenges youave seeing record cases and trying to put on an election. First of all, you're a state that is used to doing about 6% absentee ballots. This time around what are you expecting? Yeah, that's right. So we usually typically did about 6%. We saw in our April statewide election closer to 60% absentee by mail. In our August statewide election it was closer to 80%. As of right now we're looking at currently about 40% of expected turn out that has already participated by mail. That's absentee ballot. So many people will be wanting to vote in person, Meagan, as you know. Now you're dealing with these record coronavirus case numbers in your state. We're heading into the final stretch of this election. How concerned are you that this could be very disruptive to the process? We've had a great deal of practice this year in 2020 administering elections. I think our voters and election officials have had an opportunity to adjust. So every single procedure at the polling place has been rethought with public health guidance front and center. Our local election officials and voters have had multiple opportunities to practice this. November is our fourth statewide election here in Wisconsin. We practiced those public health practices at our polls. We think all three options that voters have to cast their ballot will be safe, secure and ready for voters to choose. You said you've been practicing. You had some shortages. You needed more poll workers. Do you have what you need yet? We've been really proud of our Wisconsin voters and them stepping up to be poll workers. We're seeing a smaller shortage than we did early this year. We still have some shortages in smaller communities. We think by the time we get to election day we'll be prepared not just to have enough poll workers and also have an emergency back up in the event of an emergency. In your April primary your state held over 23,000 ballots were rejected because of sub miss errors and that's more than president trump won by in 2016. What are you doing to make sure that doesn't happen again? Voter education. Educating voters about the timeline for when their ballots have to be returned. In Wisconsin your ballot must be back by 8:00 P.M. On election day. Also educating voters for the requirements for making sure they're successful in the absentee by mail process. In the state of Wisconsin, the voter has to sign a certificate and they also have to have a witness sign the certificate for that ballot to be counted. Educating voters through national channels, state channels and providing officials with the tools to educate voters about those requirements and about their options to cure a ballot if they do make a mistake. Will we get results from you election night? In terms of unofficial tallies you get on election night, our local election officials are making sure they have the resources to get unofficial results done as soon as possible. They won't sacrifice accuracy for speed. So maybe. Better to be right than first. That was my takeaway. Meagan Wolfe, we know you're busy these days and will be for the next couple weeks. Maybe even after that. Meagan Wolfe, good to see you. Good luck. Check out all the voters guidance specific to your state at the how to vote website from our partners at fivethiryeight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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