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As I See It

Protect the rights of all eligible voters to cast ballot

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Much is being made of voting in Wisconsin nursing homes these days. It doesn’t seem to have been an issue before, but now the sheriff of Racine County is demanding that charges be filed against members of the Wisconsin Election Commission over whether poll workers should be allowed to assist elderly people to cast their ballots. In normal times special voting deputies are dispatched to nursing homes, but because of the pandemic the WEC recommended they not do so in 2020. Instead, staff at the care facility collected the 8 residents absentee ballots. But let’s not forget, there are thousands of elderly people living in nursing homes and care centers, and they have a legal right to cast a ballot. Even if they have some cognitive disabilities. In fact, every Wisconsin resident 18 and older who is a U.S. citizen has the legal right to cast a ballot. The only exceptions are for those who have not lived in Wisconsin for at least 28 days prior to an election, those who are felons and those who a court has deemed ineligible to vote. The elderly face enough barriers to voting as it is. Lack of a photo ID, lack of transportation and lack of digital literacy already stand in the way of some of our seniors. Protecting the rights of our seniors to vote should be the focus, not arguing over who collected a handful of ballots from a nursing home.

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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Nick Berry

    November 5, 2021 at 6:49 am

    I agree except that are those residents voting their choice or the choice of who is assisting them in the nursing home?

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