Clinton Herald Letter to the Editor-01

Republican measures slow the beat of democracy

Voting is the heart of democracy. Unfortunately, the Republican Iowa legislature followed other Republican legislatures around the country and enacted measures to slow the beat of democracy.

When the legislature shortens the voting day by an hour, restricts county auditors to one drop box per county, prohibits auditors from establishing satellite early voting centers in the county unless voters petition them to do so, cuts early voting from 29 days to 20 days and limits the time absentee ballots can be received by the auditor’s office, it is practicing voter suppression.

In Georgia, the Republican legislature has now prohibited the Secretary of State from voting on the Election Board and has empowered itself to remove local election officials. This is particularly troubling as the Legislature could conceivably take control of the election outcome if its candidate of choice is not elected.

Would the Iowa legislature have enacted a similar measure if Biden had won Iowa instead of Trump? Is this something they plan to consider for the next legislative session?

Equally troubling is that the Heritage Foundation, a conservative national group, is spending $8 million across several states, including Iowa, to promote legislation regarding limiting use of absentee ballots, voter ID, verifying voter citizenship and requiring verification of local voter lists. In fact, the Heritage Foundation was pleased with Iowa’s legislation for “election integrity” and encouraged Iowa’s legislature to go further.

Please contact Rep. Mary Wolfe (D), Rep. Norlin Mommsen (R) and State Senator Chris Cournoyer (R) to restore management of elections to our local county auditors and advocate local control of our election boards. We must keep the heartbeat of democracy strong.

Linda Boardsen, Clinton

Put the patient first

I was dismayed to read in your Aug. 7 edition of a protest against MercyOne Clinton’s COVID vaccine mandate for all employees.

I retired almost three years ago after practicing family medicine in Iowa for 45 years. A primary motive for most of us entering the medical field—including doctors, nurses, technicians and other personnel—was a desire to help others. Allowing ourselves to catch serious but preventable contagious diseases that can be passed onto our patients seems to be quite contradictory to a concern for the welfare of the patient.

A hospital should not be a place where a patient can become infected with a preventable contagious disease. This risk is especially a threat for those who have been fully vaccinated but are immunocompromised as well as for children who need to be hospitalized but are not eligible for a vaccination.

The new COVID Delta variant adds an additional risk to all.

A commonly stated priority throughout the medical profession is to “put the patient first.” Getting properly vaccinated and keeping up to date on all vaccinations is an essential step in achieving that goal. I applaud MercyOne for being a leader in this endeavor.

Donald G. Flory, M.D.

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