Virginia GOP: Voters incorrectly being told at polling locations masks must be worn to vote

Virginia GOP tweeted: "If someone is not wearing a face covering they may NOT be turned away or refused their right to vote"

Updated: November 2, 2021 - 8:43pm

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The Virginia Republican Party said Tuesday that some voters are incorrectly being told at some polling locations in the state that a mask must be worn – as residents cast ballots on a slate of contests including the state's high-profile governor's race.

"There have been several reports from voters who say they were told by poll workers that they are required to wear a mask in order to vote," read a tweet from the Virginia GOP account. "To be clear, if someone is not wearing a face covering they may NOT be turned away or refused their right to vote."

Another tweet on the account reads: "Masks are NOT required to vote. There is no mask mandate in Virginia."

A senior editor at the Washington Free Beacon said that he was told to wear a mask to vote in Virginia.

"Poll workers demanded I mask up in order to vote. At no point did they ask to see my face to see if it matched the ID. Seems legit," he wrote.

The Legal Defense Fund addressed the mask issue on social media as well.

"Masks are encouraged but not required at polling sites in Virginia. If you forgot your mask, you should not be turned away for not having a mask," the organization wrote. "You should either request one from your polling place or request to vote curbside."

Conservative columnist Charles Hurt said local officials requiring masks to vote in Virginia is a voter suppression tactic.

"To be clear, this is illegal voter suppression," he wrote. "You may vote at any polling place in Virginia – even in schools – with or without a mask no matter what local election officials tell you."

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, said he was told a mask is required to vote, contrary to guidance from the Virginia Department of Elections.

"I was told at my polling station I couldn’t vote without a mask," he wrote. "Knowing what the GOP thinks about masks, isn’t this just an illegal barrier to voting? But I can count on one thing our judges will do nothing."

There are polling locations at public schools in Fairfax County that have a sign on the door indicating that masks are required to be worn inside the building. The mandate is reportedly not supposed to apply to voters in Virginia but masks required signage at the entrance of public schools could be a source of confusion.

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