Election 2020 FAQ: Do I have to wear a mask at my polling place?

2020 Election

Election workers Adonlie DeRoche, seated left, and Judy Smith, seated right, wear masks and face shields and work behind plexiglass for safety during the coronavirus pandemic, while assisting a voter during primary elections on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, in Portland, Maine. Voters were encouraged to vote ahead of time via absentee ballot, but polling stations were available for in-person voting. (AP Photo/David Sharp)

QUESTION: Do I have to wear a mask at my polling place?

ANSWER: Wearing a face mask is strongly encouraged but not required. Despite the governor’s mask mandate, officials say Virginia law already prohibited a qualified voter from being “hindered or delayed.”

Hanover County Director of Elections Teri Smithson said state guidelines instruct poll workers to offer a free mask to voters who show up without one. If a voter declines, she said they would then be encouraged to vote curbside.

However, if a voter refuses a face coverings and curbside service, Smithson said they can still cast their ballot inside, despite Gov. Northam’s mask requirement. 

To read the full FAQ, click here.


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