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'This Is Illegal Voter Suppression': Reports Emerge of Virginia Polling Places Wrongly Requiring Masks for Voters

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Allegations of misconduct are surfacing in Virginia where Republican Glenn Youngkin has waged a fierce battle against Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the race for governor.

Multiple allegations emerged Tuesday that poll workers were demanding voters wear masks in order to vote, with some alleging that this was a tactic designed to sway a contest in which the margin was expected to be razor-thin.

Virginia’s Republican Party alerted voters that claims they needed to be masked to vote should be disregarded.

“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. To be clear, if someone is not wearing a face covering they may NOT be turned away or refused their right to vote,” the party tweeted.

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Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, said he could vouch firsthand for the claims and pondered the significance of trying to impose mask rules in a tight election.

“I was told at my polling station I couldn’t vote without a mask. 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,” he tweeted.

Journalist Charlie Hurt noted this is more than a simple misunderstanding.

“To be clear, this is illegal voter suppression. 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,” he wrote.

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Others also weighed in on what was clearly not just an incident at one location.

It was not until the afternoon — six hours after the polls had opened — that Virginia Elections Commissioner Chris Piper tried to set the record straight in an email to counties, and it was not until even later that the state’s Department of Elections issued a public notice about the incidents.

“We have gotten several reports of voters either being turned away or being made to wait until the polling place is clear before being allowed to vote if they refuse to wear a mask,” Piper wrote.

“You may not turn voters away because they are not wearing masks. While masks are encouraged, every eligible voter is entitled to cast a ballot at their polling place.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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