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As I See It

Wisconsin election should be absentee only

Scott Robert Shaw

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Wisconsin’s elections are now less than two weeks away. But the plans for how to conduct an election amid a virus outbreak remain up in the air. Officially, Governor Tony Evers says he has no plans to postpone the election. He rightly argues that we could postpone it for a month, but may still be in the midst of a crisis. But our own government is telling us to stay at home and avoid large crowds of people. That certainly is incongruous with voting. That’s why Wisconsin should move quickly to adopt a system of absentee balloting only. Several groups, including the League of Women Voters, are asking Governor Evers, lawmakers and the State Elections Commission to move to a mail based system of voting. That would help reduce the possible spread of the coronavirus on election day, and we wouldn’t have to worry about poll workers being too sick to show up. If they do go ahead with an in-person election as scheduled, what kind of turnout would there be? We may find that when we make it easier for people to vote, without having to go to a polling place, turnout may go up. Our lawmakers will need to move fast, but if they do there is still time, amid these dire circumstances, to adopt this system, and ensure our election process doesn’t make more people sick.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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