Officials, voters pleased with first day of Wausau drive-thru voting

Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 10:26 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - As the last few cars taking part in day one of Wausau’s drive-thru voting event rolled through the line close to 7:00 Friday night, city clerk Leslie Kremer was all smiles.

“Excited and pleased,” she responded when asked how she felt about the first day. “I took a moment to just kind of stand back and watch how things were going, and in my mind, I was thinking to myself, ‘All of the planning and it has worked out perfectly how we envisioned.’ I’m very pleased.”

It’s a project that Kremer has been the driving force behind since late July when it was first mentioned as a possibility in Wausau, working closely with other cities in Wisconsin that have already implemented the system as well as with Wausau’s Safe Elections Task Force and Mayor Katie Rosenberg.

Kremer says she estimates “close to a hundred if not a little bit over that” vehicles participated on Friday and she’s optimistic that more will participate on Saturday.

“The weather’s supposed to be nice so we’re just really excited,” Kremer said. “We’re so happy to see everybody smiling at getting out here to vote.”

One of the Wausau residents taking advantage of the drive-thru voting option Friday was 91-year-old, Roger Pickering.

“It’s very, very nice,” Pickering said, talking about having the ability to vote from the comfort of his vehicle. “I would cast my ballot wherever it took me thought.”

Pickering has voted in many elections before but admits this one has a different feel to it.

“I think this is a little more intense,” Pickering said. “I think there’s a little more at stake than in the past.”

Pickering partaking in his civic duty by casting a ballot.

16-year-old Aiden Rasmussen can’t do that just yet, but he wasn’t going to let his age keep him from participating in what promises to be a historic election, instead of working as an election worker at the drive-thru voting event.

“Felt I had to come out and participate, especially in an election as important to this country as this one,” Rasmussen said. “Personally, I’m quite passionate about politics and I think it’s important, especially for the youth to get involved in such a thing.”

It’s that passion that has Mayor Katie Rosenberg optimistic not only for this election but for future elections.

“We’re almost to 11,000 voters by absentee right now,” Mayor Rosenberg said, adding that there’s a chance Wausau could see more drive-thru voting options in the future. “I think if it works out well, why not continue? We have a lot of enthusiastic poll workers; that I’m excited about. We have a lot to look forward to and maybe we even decide we should go a step further and there are other things we can do for voting to make it more accessible to everybody.”

The second and final day of drive-thru voting in Wausau is Saturday, October 24 from 8 am to 3 pm at Wausau City Hall.

Anyone registered to vote in the city of Wausau can cast their ballot using the drive-thru option.

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