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Capital City Sunday: Joe Biden one-on-one, Election Commission & Lt. Governor

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden believes his virtual campaign efforts could impact results come November as the pandemic is keeping him at his home in Delaware.

Biden spoke to 27 News in an exclusive interview and talked about the challenges of hosting virtual events after he made two appearances in the badger state last week.

When asked if being forced to stay home could impact election results while Donald Trump continues to campaign in person, Biden said "it could" but used the opportunity to call out Trump's poll numbers.

"So far the more he's out, the more my poll numbers go up because of the things he says as does," Biden told 27 News.

In a new head-to-head poll from Quinnipiac University Biden is up 11 points. The poll released last week found that voters supported Biden over Trump 50% -- 39%.

On the economy, Biden said he doesn't worry about Trump's economic record, a strong re-election message his campaign is relying on. The former VP called Trump's record "dismal."

"His record is rated by the stock market and the stock market never made a difference in my middle-class family."

Democratic National Convention

Biden said it remains to be seen if he'll be attending the Democratic National Convention this summer in Milwaukee. When asked if it should be held virtually, he said he rather it be held in-person as long as it's safe to do so.

"I plan on being in person and campaigning in Wisconsin, it's a very important state," he said. "I plan on being in Milwaukee but the circumstance on whether I'll be there remains to be seen, it's too early to say."

ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATIONS

After multiple ballots rejected or went missing during the April 7th election, Administrator of the Wisconsin Election Commission said they are in "weekly if not daily" communication with the post office to make sure prior complications don't occur again.

Meagan Wolfe, administrator of WEC, said they are exploring ideas such as developing ballot tracking similar to a system you'd use to track a package and changing the envelop design so it would be sorted in a particular way.

"They've been receptive to those conversations and we continue to work with them to look forward to some of those improvements," said Wolfe.

Wisconsin election officials are also split on whether or not to send absentee ballot applications to every registered voter.

During a Wisconsin Election Commission meeting, Democrats support sending applications to every voter. But Republicans only want applications sent to voters who never requested one in previous elections.

The commission is recommending to spend 2.1 million from the federal coronavirus relief bill to be able to send applications to voters.

The commission delayed a vote on the proposal last week.

Wolfe said she doesn't expect a tie after more information is provided to commissioners during their next meeting this week.

LAWSUITS SEEKING TO DROP LOCAL SAFER AT HOME ORDERS

Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes and other top Democrats believe local safer at home orders issued by public health departments are constitutional after the restrictions face another legal challenge.

"The Supreme court order that struck down safer at home didn't even tough on the state statute that covers local ordinances and their ability to enforce measures to keep people safe," said Barnes.

More than a dozen plaintiffs across the state filed a federal lawsuit against public health officials that instituted their own orders.

On unemployment, Barnes also called on Republicans to stop "pointing figures" at the Evers administration for not hiring more employees to help process the millions of claims the state is receiving.

"This issue is statewide and for them to call on one particular governor is ridiculous and I wish they showed more compassion when people who applied well before the pandemic," said Barnes.

Wisconsin's unemployment rate his 14.1% in April, a level not seen since the Great Depression.

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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