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In-person voter turnout low for 7th District special election

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SUPERIOR, WI-- On Tuesday, Wisconsin voters were asked to fill a U.S. House seat that had been vacant for the past nine months.

This vote comes after former Congressman Sean Duffy stepped down last fall for family reasons.

Democrat Tricia Zunker and Republican State Senator Tom Tiffany are on the ballot for the 7th Congressional District Special Election.

The special election was made more complicated by being held in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The polls in Superior were nearly empty as 4,200 residents turned to absentee ballots.

Superior City Clerk Terri Kalan said the city asked people to vote absentee to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

"I do suspect they are slow because so many voted absentee. I don't think we're going to have a great, big turnout at the locations themselves," said Kalan.

She said there was more time to prepare for Tuesday's election, unlike in April when the state held its presidential primary.

Kalan said they were only given a few days to prepare for the primary because decisions were frequently changing.

"The virus was scaring everyone. Everyone was scared about leaving their house and waiting until the last minute to get an absentee ballot. So this election, things are calmer," she said.

Polling places in Superior had partitions in place and hand sanitizer for anyone to use.

Many poll workers and voters were wearing a mask and gloves.

"This election things are calmer. People know the precautions that they need to take if they're going to go to the polls and vote," said Kalan.

One polling place, the Salvation Army site for voters in the 6th and 10th districts, temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Those voters should head to the Government Center.

All other polling locations are open until 8 p.m.

Emma Quinn

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