Masks will not be required for the November election in Mississippi

Secretary of State says no voter should be denied the right to vote for not wearing a mask

Masks will not be required for the November election in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - There will be no mask mandates at the polls when you vote November 3rd.

Though PPE supplies have been sent to precincts around the state, it can be offered to voters but not mandated.

Election officials are strongly encouraging voters to social distance and wear masks at the polls.
Election officials are strongly encouraging voters to social distance and wear masks at the polls. (Source: WLBT)

Election officials in Hinds, Madison and Rankin County say they are strongly encouraging voters to wear masks and practice social distancing to protect themselves and others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Madison County Circuit Clerk Anita Wray says poll workers and employees will be wearing masks. Tonya Rivers the Chair of the Rankin County Election Commission says they will not interfere with anyone’s right to vote and they are also asking and encouraging voters to wear masks but not requiring them.

As we first told you in our special election report last month you will be asked to pull your mask down momentarily for identification.

Watson says he wants to be extremely clear that no voter should be denied the right to vote for not wearing a mask.
Watson says he wants to be extremely clear that no voter should be denied the right to vote for not wearing a mask. (Source: WLBT)

Secretary of State Michael Watson sent us a statement Wednesday afternoon. It says in part no entity other than Congress, the Mississippi Legislature or a constitutional amendment can place requirements such as wearing a mask on voters.

This is the full statement from the Secretary of State:

"Only the legislature, or the citizens through the initiative process of changing the constitution, can impose additional requirements on voting. While our office has reviewed each of the Governor’s Executive Orders and recommends wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Governor, nor anyone else, may impose requirements on voting.

No entity other than Congress, the Mississippi legislature, or a validly enacted constitutional amendment may place requirements, such as wearing a mask, on voters. I want to be extremely clear. NO voter should be denied the right to vote for not wearing a mask." – Secretary of State Michael Watson

Hinds County Circuit Clerk Zack Wallace also tells us voters are being asked to wear masks when they come in to vote absentee and temperatures are being taken.

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