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As I See It

Guns ok at polling places, but no to masks

Scott Robert Shaw

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The one consistency about rules governing the wearing of masks is the inconsistency. Wisconsin has a rule that requires people wear masks when inside most public places, and there are limits on how many people can be in a space at the same time. When you go to a store you have to wear a mask. At a restaurant you have to wear a mask until you sit down. But at Wisconsin polling places, there is no requirement that voters wear a mask. According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, they do not have the authority to require voters to wear masks at the polls.  That authority rests with the state legislature, which hasn’t met in more than 200 days. The legislature has set plenty of rules regarding voting, including the requirement to show an ID, requiring someone to live at the same address for a certain period of time in order to register, and whether those on probation be allowed to vote. The laws even allow armed militias to stand inside polling locations to play the role of election observers. But when it comes to determining whether people should have to wear a mask while voting, the legislature has been silent. Shouldn’t our lawmakers weigh in on this? If people have to wear a mask at Kohl’s, logic suggests they should have to wear one to vote. But when it comes to setting the rules during a pandemic, this is just one more inconsistency.

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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