(The Center Square) – Of the more than 1 million Wisconsin voters who say they plan to vote absentee this November, most are Democrats. 

The latest Marquette Law School Poll reports 32 percent of the state’s 3,476,347 voters plan to cast an absentee ballot this year. Sixty-four percent of people asked say they will either vote in-person on Election Day, or vote in-person before Nov. 3. 

“There has been a decline in the percentage of people planning to vote by absentee ballot by mail, together with a rise in those planning to vote in person on Election Day,” the pollsters noted.

There are differing opinions between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to in-person and absentee voting. 

“A majority of Republicans say they plan to vote in person on election day, as opposed to absentee by mail (or early, in person), while most Democrats are likely to prefer absentee by mail,” the poll states. 

Eighty percent of Republicans say they will vote in-person. The poll said 69 percent of Republicans plan to vote in-person on Election Day, while another 11 percent plan to vote early and in-person. 

For Democrats, those numbers flip. The poll says 47 percent of Democrats will vote absentee. Just 34 percent of Democrats will vote in-person on Election Day, and 16 percent say they will vote early and in-person. 

Fifty-nine percent of independent voters plan to vote in-person, while 29 percent plan to vote absentee. 

“May was the high-water mark for people saying they would vote absentee by mail among all partisan categories,” Marquette pollsters noted. “Democrats have become less likely to choose absentee by mail in each subsequent poll, and more likely to say they will either vote in person on election day or during early voting, although, as stated, absentee by mail is their single most popular choice. Intentions of Republicans and independents have been relatively stable in August and September.”

The numbers come as Milwaukee’s Democratic mayor, Tom Barrett asserted his belief on Thursday that absentee voting is the safest way to vote. 

“Minimizing person-to-person public contact is still universally the best public health guidance. And for that reason, absentee voting, whether it’s done primarily through mail or through these drop boxes, is the safest way to vote,” the mayor said as he unveiled the first of Milwaukee’s ballot drop boxes. 

There could be other questions about absentee voting that have nothing to do with the coronavirus. 

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday ordered local clerks not to send any absentee ballots to voters until after the high court decides if the Green Party should be added to the ballot. 

The deadline to mail those ballots is Thursday, September 17. The Supreme Court is not saying when it will decide the Green’s case. 

Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square. Reposted with permission.

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