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Ohio elections chief urges but won't require masks for vote

Secretary of State Frank LaRose said masks will be required to be in line with Governor Mike DeWine's mask mandate.
Credit: AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit
File photo

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Tuesday that Ohioans will be required to wear masks at the polls this year.

Last week, he strongly urged masks to be worn but did make the recommendation.

LaRose said Tuesday masks will be required to be in line with Governor Mike DeWine's mask mandate.

In a statement, his office said:

"Per the governor’s mandate, masks are required. However, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged” appears within three different amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

 Any voter who shows up without a mask will be offered one. If they refuse, they’ll be asked to vote curbside or by mail if the voter is attempting to vote early. However, denying that individual the right to vote would deny them their constitutional right."

LaRose also announced that more than 463,000 masks from RB Sigma LLC in Mentor will be donated to county boards of elections in Ohio and will be delivered by September 2.

35,000 poll workers are needed in order to open voting locations statewide, LaRose said.

The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 5. Early voting begins Oct. 6.

The voting safety plan that LaRose unveiled last week can be seen here.