Fox News host Brian Kilmeade on Tuesday applauded the state of Wisconsin for holding an in-person election as scheduled despite stay-at-home orders, wondering what the “big deal” was with waiting in long lines during the coronavirus pandemic.
Given concerns over social distancing, the Wisconsin Democratic governor attempted to get the election postponed, only to have the state’s conservative-majority high court overrule him on Monday. The governor’s decree to extend the deadline for absentee ballots into June was also overruled, this time by the U.S. Supreme Court. (All four liberal members of the court dissented.)
Kilmeade, however, felt that the state should be saluted for forcing its residents to brave a deadly outbreak if they want their votes to be counted.
After noting that the primary has already essentially been decided and Joe Biden will come out on top, Kilmeade framed the Tuesday vote as a successful return to normalcy.
“Ladies and gentlemen, what's the big deal?” Kilmeade wondered aloud, in the early afternoon segment first flagged by Media Matters. “Keep your social distance, wear your gloves, have election workers take care of everything is sanitary, and get used to it.”
“This is the way it's going to be,” he added. “We’re going to incrementally get back to normal, I salute Wisconsin for doing it.”
Fox anchor Harris Faulkner, meanwhile, questioned what would occur down the road if stay-at-home orders are extended to stem the spread of the virus, asking if this would cause exceptions such as postponing election dates or implementing mail-in ballots.
“Put it this way, if they tell me it’s voting day and they tell me to vote, I will just do the same thing I would do if I had to go to the food store,” Kilmeade replied. “I would just keep my distance. I have to eat, I have to pick up medicine for somebody, I’m going to do it.”
The Fox & Friends host concluded by claiming that critics of the in-person vote are “making a big deal out of nothing” since Biden has essentially “won already” in the Democratic primary.
Some voters in Wisconsin, however, are not too thrilled that the in-person primary was held on Tuesday. With only a tiny portion of polling places opened in a number of cities, residents were forced to wait in long lines for hours before casting a ballot, prompting concerns that they were forced to place their health at stake.
“This whole voting situation is fucked up,” one voter told The Daily Beast. “I can’t believe I have to choose between voting and the safety of our child. It almost feels like choosing life or death to be honest.”