LETTER: Don’t bring political statements to polls
Masks. They range from practical to pesky, from plain to pretty … annoying. Though muffling speech, they make statements. Fashion statements and political statements. They join statements carried on signs or worn on clothing, statements spoken or written. They also add a new wrinkle to election etiquette.
With the right of speech, we also have the responsibility of silence when voting. Such silence is peace in the process of electing our government representatives and deciding on ballot questions. Help election judges maintain order. By law, political statements (signs or campaign materials) are not allowed inside a polling place or within 100 feet of the building.
Political statements include party designations such as DFL, candidate endorsements such as Trump 2020, or slogans such as “Make America Great Again.” This year, some initials or letter combinations are fraught with political meaning. (Anyone associated with the Bureau of Land Management may want to wear plain clothes to vote.)
Even flags carry political messages. You may want to show honor and respect for the “thin blue line” of law enforcement officers (LEOs). Better to honor and respect the one flag required at a polling place: the red, white and blue American flag that symbolizes one nation under God.
Some people state that certain lives matter. Others believe that all lives matter from womb to tomb. What matters at the polling place of an election precinct are the ovals on the ballots of registered voters.
The bottom line is plain – including masks worn while voting. The only signing should be the “John Hancock” of each legitimate voter. If you understand that “figure of speech” from our great American history, nod. (Smiles of affirmation are hidden by our masks.)