MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin National Guard is helping staff self-isolation facilities in Milwaukee and Madison and polling locations across the state for the April 7 election due to a shortage of volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic.The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is managing two of the self-isolation facilities, while the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County is in charge of a third. There are 12 Wisconsin National Guard medics and administrative troops assigned at each of the two state-run self-isolation facilities working in shifts to augment staff there, while nearly 30 Guard members are helping staff the Milwaukee-run facility. The teams are providing administrative support and medical monitoring for individuals who would otherwise be unable to effectively self-isolate.The Wisconsin National Guard also received a request for assistance from the Wisconsin Elections Commission to staff polling sites for the election. Guard members will serve in civilian clothes, augmenting volunteers, poll workers and local elections officials. They will fulfill the same duties as traditional poll workers."We are Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen who live and work in these same communities," said Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin's adjutant general. "We are neighbors helping neighbors, and our Soldiers and Airmen span every community in Wisconsin. Clerks and elections officials are having a hard time finding volunteers to work at the polls so our democratic process can play out, and we're honored to assist and help ease some of the staffing needs."Knapp urged Wisconsin residents to vote absentee in the April 7 election. Voters can request absentee ballots until 5 p.m. April 2 at or in writing, e-mail, or fax through a voter's municipal clerk's office. He also urged other able members of the community to volunteer to staff polling sites.The Guard is working with the Wisconsin Elections Commission to procure and distribute hand sanitizer, wipes and spray bottles to polling sites to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.The Guard continues to support other missions around Wisconsin, supporting DHS and helping receive, repackage and distribute critical personal protective equipment (PPE) around the state.About 350 Soldiers and Airmen are serving on state active duty in response to Gov. Tony Evers' public health emergency declaration March 12.Six Wisconsin National Guard medics helped the staff at a senior living facility in Grafton for three days in March while the facility dealt with a staffing shortfall after a COVID-19 outbreak there.Also last month, 30 Wisconsin National Guard personnel helped the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) transport a group of Wisconsin citizens back to their homes after they returned from a cruise ship that had confirmed cases of COVID-19 onboard.For more National Guard news: Guard Facebook: Guard Twitter: Guard COVID-19 Response: (COVID-19): Response: