Volunteers and Kenosha staff work to count the ballots coming in to the Kenosha Municipal Building, 625 52nd St., on Tuesday. The city received more than 30,000 absentee ballots by Election Day. Photo by Daniel Thompson/The Uptown Observer.

KENOSHA ⏤ With the election process over in the city, Mayor John Antaramian has high praise for poll workers, and Kenosha’s citizens.

Despite one incident well-publicized on social media at a polling place at Journey Church, 10700 75th St., Antaramian said the city had very minor problems on Election Day. 

A smooth election amid a pandemic

“In fact, it was very peaceful,” he said. “Very minor issues that rose. And many of the issues that came up were someone who had a hat on or just very minor things.”

Even when issues arose, such as someone wearing a hat supporting a candidate, they were resolved without incident, he said.

“Everyone was on board,” Antaramian said. “Everyone did what they were supposed to do. We’re just very, very pleased.”

‘That was remarkable’

Antaramian also heaped praises on poll workers, city employees and other volunteers who took to the municipal building and elsewhere to make sure the election ran efficiently.

“The amount of support we received from employees, from volunteers, just people who came out to help make sure that we get the votes counted and get those in,” the mayor said, “that was remarkable.

“All the help that we got, not just for counting the absentee ballots, but also the people at the polls helping to make sure that we were able to get these things done in a practical and logical way and a safe way.”

More than 30K absentee ballots received

The mayor expressed his excitement, too, over the sheer amount of people who turned out to vote in the city. In remarks to the Observer Thursday, he said he was “pleased with how the public has responded to coming out and vote, No. 1.”

Volunteers enjoy some friendly conversation while taking a short break from counting ballots in the municipal building Tuesday. Photo by Daniel Thompson/The Uptown Observer.

By Election Day, more than 50% of the city’s electorate had already participated via absentee ballots. 

As a result, volunteers had the task of counting more than 30,000 absentee ballots, according to the city’s website

According to city data, 31,728 absentee ballots were issued; however, only 30,421 were returned.

On Election Day, 10,828 residents took to the polls to vote in-person, with two provisional ballots received. 

Voters report quick experiences

With more than half of the city’s electorate already casting ballots by Election Day, time at the polls was brief.

Voters KallyJo Wagner and Kiel Weiss both reported being in and out at their respective polls. 

“Wife and I were in and out in 5 minutes,” Weiss wrote. “Mother and father were at their voting location for a good 30+ minutes at least waiting in line.”

“Mine was super quick. Only took about 5 mins. I didn’t know which ward I was, and my polling location had changed but other than that it was super quick and they made it run smoothly.”

KallyJo Wagner, voter

Melissa Pegues’ and Carly Paul’s experiences were swift. Both had recently moved to elsewhere in the city.

“My experience was quick and efficient at the Civil War Museum,” Paul wrote. “Even with changing my address, I was in and out within 10 minutes.”

A more unique experience

Lisa Hawkins had a more unique experience at the polls. 

I was excited to escort a first time voter!” she wrote. “And then realized poll workers didn’t know or didn’t care about election laws by allowing candidate gear in the building and then had them try and say my BLM mask was political gear and I needed to be quiet or the police officer outside would escort me out.”

Voting over, but possible recount

The Associated Press, on Wednesday, called the state of Wisconsin for presidential candidate Joe Biden.

However, the campaign of President Donald Trump has requested a recount.

Since the Wisconsin recount announcement, the campaign has gone on to push for recounts in other states.

The campaign has also unsuccessfully attempted to stop vote counting in Arizona, as of Friday evening.

As of 7 p.m. Friday evening, Georgia ⏤ where Biden led at 2,456,510 to Trump’s 2,452,599 ⏤ was heading into a recount, the election sure to carry into a fifth day Saturday.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

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Daniel Thompson is an independent journalist and the founder of The Uptown Observer based in the Kenosha, Wis., area. He started in journalism at the Western Nebraska Observer in 2012 and, most notably,...