Ahead of this spring’s highly contested state Supreme Court race, Wisconsin voters filled out their ballots early, including one doctor from Madison.
Doctors are historically underrepresented at the polls, according to the National Library of Medicine. The library attributes this to physicians’ lack of knowledge of public policy and having busy training schedules at hospitals far away from the communities where they vote.
One Madison-area physician, Kyle Martin, said the reason for him was much simpler —he has to work a long shift on Election Day.
Martin isn’t alone. He said most of his colleagues work in shifts that range anywhere from 12 to 48 hours at a time, making it impossible for them to get to the polls on Tuesday.
“Other specialties will have on-call and they really probably can't step away and they have to be within a certain range of the hospital when they're on call or just really long clinic days too,” Martin said.
This drove Martin to vote early at his own town hall in Mt. Horeb.
“I mean, it's just crucial that we want to have a democracy where everyone has a chance to vote and certainly we want to hear from folks that are working all day,” Martin added.
Deputy Clerk for the City of Madison Jim Verbick also said that in-person absentee voting is a safe and secure way for everyone to get their voices heard ahead of election day.
Verbick added that Wisconsinites should vote however they feel comfortable, and that the City of Madison is encouraging those who can to go to the polls.
“Our turnout I think has reflected that we’re trying to make voting as easy for our voters as we can,” Verbick said.
Martin says he plans to vote in-person absentee next year.