WELLSBORO — Members of Tioga County Indivisible solicited signatures for a pro-mask petition on Monday, Sept. 27 and Wednesday, Sept. 29 at the TOPS plaza in Wellsboro.
TCI is hoping to show support for state and local mask mandates. The group is planning to submit the 50-some signatures to the Wellsboro Area School board.
The petition read “Petition to present to WASD School Board in support of PA statewide school mask mandate ordered by the PA Department of Health August 31, 2021.”
“I think there’s a lot more people who are pro-mask than we realize,” said Yolie Canales, TCI member.
“People are afraid to say anything,” said Canales. “Anti-maskers have intimidated people who just want to put a mask on their kid and send them to school.”
TCI volunteers were also giving away free cloth masks provided by the Tioga County COVID-19 Task Force.
“We’ve been getting a lot of honks of support, a lot of thumbs-up,” said TCI member Jen McCarthy. As the two were being interviewed on Monday, a car exited the TOPS parking lot and the driver yelled, “I agree with you.”
“We’re also encouraging people to write letters to the school board supporting the mask mandate,” said Canales.
Tioga County Indivisible is part of the nationwide Indivisible organization. The Tioga County chapter’s mission statement states that TCI is “A group of concerned citizens working to make positive change in local, state, and national policy”.
On Friday, Oct. 1, approximately a dozen TCI members gathered in front of Senator Chris Dush’s Wellsboro office to protest Dush’s involvement in auditing the 2020 election.
Dush chairs the Pa. Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, which is conducting the investigation. The Pa. Senate voted along party lines recently to subpoena the state for 17 types of election records, including voters’ addresses, partial Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers.
“No senator has the right to know my social security number or personal info,” said one protestor.
Dush stated in an Oct. 1 op-ed published on senatorcrisdushpa.com that “the reason why the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee subpoenaed this information is to cross match and verify whether or not our voter registration system has duplicate voters, dead voters and/or illegal voters.”
“He’s trying to imply that people think there was something wrong with the election, and that’s just not true,” said Canales.
Dush is on record as stating that he would be sure the effort would be carried out “deliberatively” and “properly.”