Despite the confusion of voting in a pandemic, Election Day in Madison has brought in a record number of poll workers as well as historic rates of early voting, by mail and in person.

According to the Madison City Clerk’s office, double the number of poll workers the city had during the past three presidential elections signed up to work the polls Nov. 3. A central theme threading through these workers’ explanations is a desire to feel productive and step up at a time when it’s dangerous for older adults who generally do poll work to do so.

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University of Wisconsin student Michael Nicholas said he is excited to be a poll worker and play a part in the democratic process.

“I’m being a poll worker because I want to fulfill my civic duty and participate in our democracy,” Nicholas said.

On Election Day, these teams of poll workers will be processing tens of thousands of returned absentee ballots.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday night that ballots received after Election Day cannot be counted, despite an initial lower court ruling to extend the ballot deadline for the November election.

The decision was 5-3, siding with the Republican National Committee, the Wisconsin Republican Party and the state’s GOP-led legislature to maintain the Election Day deadline for ballots.

Though some people like Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt approve of the ruling, claiming the harsh deadline would make voting guidelines clearer, others like Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair Ben Wikler said the deadline was an affront to democracy, according to the Washington Post.

Tuesday marked the practical deadline for mail-in voting, and starting Wednesday, the Supreme Court urges anyone who hasn’t mailed-in their ballot to instead deliver it to the clerk’s office, vote in-person or vote in an official drop box. As of Wednesday, 107,738 ballots of the 120,514 requested absentee ballots have been returned in the City of Madison.

According to the Chicago Tribune reporting on state records, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin voters have already requested their absentees and returned them. Voter education in the past few months has likely propelled high early voting counts.

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In coming days, the Supreme Court will likely investigate challenges in ballot deadline extensions in other states including North Carolina and Pennsylvania, according to the New York Times.