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Whitmer says she supports Big Ten decision

Gretchen Whitmer at a podium

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she supports the Big 10’s decision to allow an abbreviated football season.

That’s after the conference reversed its earlier decision and agreed to protocols to allow football games.
Whitmer said it’s not her decision, but she’ll keep a close eye on how things play out at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

“We’re all trying to do what we can to engage in some normalcy to keep people safe, and there’s not a perfect way to do this,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer also said Wednesday that she does not think the state can cancel political rallies without violating the First Amendment.

“We know that there are First Amendment rights here that are at issue. We also know that the practicalities of going in and enforcing this on candidates probably doesn’t make a lot of sense,” she said.

She said earlier that big rallies for President Donald Trump where many people don’t follow distancing and masking rules violate her executive orders. She also called the rallies “potential super-spreader” events.

Whitmer asked people, instead, to watch future rallies online or on television.

“The federal guidelines will tell you it’s unsafe to pack people into a venue without masks where people are projecting their voices. That’s the federal guidelines,” she said.

Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson also renewed their call for voters to use mail-in or drop-off ballots this year instead of waiting until Election Day to go to the polls.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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