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Pandemic politics
COVID-19 pandemic switches up typical election cycle
election pandemic
Monroe’s Pat Skogan hands out signs, stickers and information at the Democratic Party of Green County’s west side ROO, or residential operations office, at 902 21st Street. The ROO is open 5-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and 1-3 p.m. on Thursdays. The Green County Democrats started using ROOs as a way to allow for easier social distancing amid COVID-19. - photo by Shannon Rabotski

GREEN COUNTY — Democrats and Republicans alike have had to compromise or entirely alter their campaign plans for the 2020 Presidential Election.

While it looks different between party lines, both the Green Party Democrats and the Republican Party of Green County are switching up traditional election procedure in order to ensure the health and safety of voters.

Instead of traditional door-to-door canvassing, the county Democrats are putting a stronger focus on advertising and mailed-out literature. The Republicans are encouraging masks and ensuring social distancing, chairman John Fandrich said.

On both sides, volunteers and voters have been eager to help prepare for the election.

“Our volunteers are stepping up in ways that I never could have imagined,” Green County Democrats Chair Sandy Rindy said. The Democrats have moved away from traditional campaign offices and taken on a more COVID-cautious approach with Mobile Operations Offices and Residential Operations Offices, or MOOs and ROOs.

Community members can pick up democratic signs or get information from one of the ROOs located at 803 1st Center Avenue in Brodhead, open 1-3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday; 1012 2nd Street in New Glarus, open 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays and 1-3 p.m. Sundays; 902 21st Street in Monroe, open 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays and 1-3 p.m. Sundays; and on the corner of 13th Street and 30th Avenue in Monroe, open 1-3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The MOOs and ROOs are intended to allow for traditional office operations in an outdoor setting that provides easier social distancing. 

election pandemic 2
Green County Republican Party Chairman John Fandrich stands in the new Republican Victory Office in Monroe. The office is located at 1614 11th Street. Community members can pick up signage and literature at the office, which will also hold viewing parties of the presidential debates leading up to the election. - photo by Shannon Rabotski

Campaigns are also leaning heavily on social media, phone calls and text messages, Green County Democrats Outreach Chair Anthony Kesich said. “Outreach has changed a ton this year.”

With much at stake for both parties, community involvement has been huge this election cycle, Fandrich said.

“The Coronavirus has not impeded their motivation one bit … It’s difficult to keep up and that’s good,” he said of community members requesting signs or volunteer information. In preparation for the election, the Republicans have also opened a “Victory Office” in Monroe. Since 2016, the Green County Republican Party victory center has been at 1801 6th Street in Monroe and will continue to be a second victory center this year as well.

Masks and social distancing are practiced in the office located at 1614 11th Street in Monroe. 

Both parties are sanitizing signs and other materials before they go out to homes.

Voters are also being encouraged to vote early to avoid Election Day crowds. 

Though the city is not offering “Park N Vote,” which was an option during the April election, voters will be able to vote in-person in City Hall during the Oct. 20-30 time frame. No request is required if voting absentee in-person, but a valid form of ID needs to be presented.

Mail-in ballots were sent out by Sept. 17. Those requested after the Sept. 17 deadline will be sent out within 24 hours of the request being received. 

Absentee ballots can also be returned in person through a City Hall drop box or hand-delivered.

To ensure timely delivery of the ballots, those mailed within the city do not leave the City of Monroe. 

To receive an absentee ballot in the mail, a request can be made a If a voter has not voted absentee before, a copy of a valid photo ID must be presented.