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LETTERS: Readers sound off on mask wearing and election reform
LETTERS: Readers sound off on mask wearing and election reformLETTERS

LETTERS: Readers sound off on mask wearing and election reform

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Don’t you care?

By most measures, Baylor University is doing a good job of managing life during the pandemic; however, in yet another strange twist this year, college students are following uncomfortable rules far better than many older, presumably wiser adults.

For example, a well-known car dealership here in Waco requires clients to wear masks but employees do not have to because they supposedly can maintain six feet of distance even during checkout, service, sales and consultations.

A hearing-aid company requires clients to wear masks, but employees — who obviously serve elderly clients — do not.

A church with many elderly members only requires masks while walking in and out of church, not during the service itself. (Apparently the virus is only contagious while leaving and entering?)

A hair-cutting establishment requires clients to wear masks, but the receptionist and a few maverick employees wear them around their neck, chin or not at all.

Most of us do not want to report businesses for COVID-19 violations because we have relationships with their employees and we appreciate the work they do. But our vulnerable neighbors deserve the simple respect that a mask offers them: the ability to get a haircut, car repair, hearing-aid adjustment, physical therapy or to go to church without endangering their health or even their lives. Isn’t the discomfort of wearing a mask worth it if it might protect even one person’s life? Maybe even your mother, father, favorite uncle or aunt?

Karol Hardin, Woodway

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re aware of a car dealer who has demonstrated some skepticism about masks and the actual perils of COVID-19, but such matters boil down to whether one wants to consult the governor’s executive orders and local public health measures and report the matter to city officials. McLennan County Judge Scott Felton has strongly and repeatedly made this point: If you go into a business that isn’t showing high regard for your health through failure to meet safety protocols during the pandemic, turn around and leave.

National voting!

Is there any doubt now of the need for a federal election reform act, one that would standardize voting procedures? If states did not want to abide by the rules or include their own statewide, county and city elections, they would be obligated to provide a separate ballot for the federal offices of president, U.S. representative and senator. And it would specify how early ballots could be cast: in person or absentee, and if absentee, mailed in or deposited in a secure box to be accounted for daily, if not hourly, and delivered to a centrally secured location each evening.

It also would require either a ballot postmark by a certain time on Election Day or stipulate its arrival at the election administrator’s office not more than 24 hours after the polls close. If the number of ballots being cast early exceeds a predetermined threshold, counting would begin before early voting ends or Election Day occurs.

And there would be no more “provisional” ballots allowed, no more days and days afterward counting of tardy ballots. One must show proof of registration or be in the database to vote. For years there has been widespread encouragement to register early and to vote early. At some point, common sense and individual responsibility is necessary, something that eludes a lot of people in Washington.

Bob Cockrum, Temple

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