‘I’m Scared’: Wisconsin Election Puts Poll Workers at Risk of Virus

They have pointed to a surge in absentee ballot requests — now at 1.1 million — as an indicator that in-person turnout will be manageable. (Elections officials estimated in a court hearing on Wednesday that, in a normal election, that number would suggest that about 500,000 voters would still show up at the polls.)

On Friday, Mr. Evers eased his stance, asking the Legislature to order the election commission to mail ballots to every registered voter and extend vote-by-mail deadlines.

But Republican lawmakers dismissed his pleas as fantasy and vowed again to hold the election. Robin Vos, the speaker of the State Assembly, said he would be working at the polls on Tuesday.

The letter to Mr. Evers said that 50 clerks had responded to a message sent to a clerks-only email list asking them to share if they or family members had compromised health. The responses ran the gamut: Some people were cancer survivors or were currently undergoing chemotherapy. Others had diabetes, kidney disease or autoimmune disorders, or were taking immunosuppressants. Family members had lung disease, asthma, heart problems and a host of other issues.

Ms. Goeckner, who is in her 50s, does not have a spleen and donated a kidney eight years ago, said that while she was concerned about her health, she was more worried about her older colleagues. Her husband, who is also a clerk, oversees a 91-year-old poll worker who insists that she will show up on Election Day if voting takes place.

“We’re not listed as essential workers, but basically being considered essential workers,” Ms. Goeckner said. “We’re not complaining as clerks. I want people to understand the risk that’s being asked and the fact that I believe there are other safe alternatives to take in this stage.”

Across the state, poll workers have assessed that risk and are staying home. Karen Molitor, who described herself as “in the vulnerable category, over 65” and has served as a poll worker in Green Bay for the last 12 years, had planned on working until Tuesday, when she saw state guidelines recommending that people her age not work.