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Jill Biden touts voting by mail, asks voters to step up this election during Madison visit

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MADISON (WKOW) -- During her second visit to Wisconsin this month the former second lady, Jill Biden, campaigned for her husband Joe Biden and encouraged supporters to go above and beyond to energize voters leading up to November 3.

Dr. Jill Biden's visit to the battleground state included a 'Get Out the Vote' event in Madison and she then hosted an event in Eagle, a town in Waukesha County.

Her last trip to Wisconsin was when she accompanied her husband during an event in Kenosha after the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Speaking to a small crowd of supports outside the Daisy Cafe and Cupcakery in Madison, Biden encouraged voters to cast an absentee ballot early and touted the option as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on.

She also stressed the importance of the upcoming election, asking voters to "do more" as political experts anticipate another close election.

"I know you are busy and probably stretched so thin, but I'm asking you to do more because this election is too important to sit on the sidelines," said Biden. "We all have to do what we can until election day."

Early in-person voting starts on Oct. 20 in Wisconsin but voters can return their absentee ballots now, or use other methods, such as voter drop boxes located in several municipalities.

While Democrats are encouraging voters to cast absentee ballots, state election officials and the post office are dealing with unprecedented levels of ballots requested by voters.

As of Monday, 1.14 million absentee ballots have been sent out, more than 238,000 returned, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

A few supporters who attended the Madison event told 27 News they are concerned about how election officials will handle the influx, some suggesting they're hesitant to return their ballot through the mail.

Roseanna Scott of Madison, who typically volunteers each year to work the polls on election day, is opting out this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Scott said while she's familiar with how officials count and process ballots, she knows it will be a tough task.

"I have my absentee ballot at home, but I'm going to wait and see if there's a line on election day so they won't have to process mine," said Scott. "I do think they (poll workers) can do it, they are already working by taking the ballots and sorting them in alphabetical order which is a big deal."

Trump Campaign Critiques to Biden Visit

A Trump Campaign spokesperson criticized Jill Biden's visit, claiming support for the Biden team is slipping after her husband did not visit the state during the Democratic National Convention.

"Democrats are trying to make up a lack of enthusiasm for their candidate and people are not excited about voting for Joe Biden," said Erin Perrine, a Trump Campaign spokesperson.

Biden remains ahead of Trump with a 5-point lead according to the UW-Madison Election Research Center's Battleground Poll. Biden leads 49% to Trump's 44%, which is within the margin of error.

President Trump is planning to visit Wisconsin this weekend, hosting back to back rallies in La Crosse and then Green Bay on Saturday.

"It took 674 days for the Biden Campaign to find Wisconsin on a map," said Anna Kelly, Trump Victory spokesperson.

"Meanwhile, for the sixth time this year alone, President Trump will campaign in Wisconsin again on Saturday. President Trump has Wisconsin’s back and as a result, Badger State voters will back him at the ballot box in November.” 

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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