Editorial: We need healthy citizens for a truly healthy democracy

Editorial Agenda Shared Concerns Coronavirus

MADISON, Wis. — So much of what we are dealing with right now requires an orientation with which we have no experience.

There are simply no precedents. For example, do we really need to postpone an election, a foundation of our system of self-governing, to ensure public health? We know what folks in Italy would say: Yes, you must. And we are hearing every day from local officials, volunteers and most poignantly their families, who are frightened and unsure of what’s the right thing to do.

Every absentee ballot cast helps big time. Please do that. And we probably have another three or four days to figure out if there’s a way to hold the election safely in a way that protects its legitimacy as well. In any event no volunteer or voter should feel like they have to make the decision to risk their health. We need healthy citizens for a truly healthy democracy.