The commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections admonished poll workers after receiving reports of voters being turned away for not wearing masks.
“You may not turn voters away because they are not wearing masks,” Chris Piper said in an email to poll workers on Tuesday, adding that it “is not sufficient to offer curbside voting as an alternative.”
Under Virginia Code 24.2-649.1, only a person with “a disability or who is age 65 or older” can be provided the option to vote curbside, according to Piper.
Piper said in his message, shared on Twitter by attorney Harmeet Dhillon , his department had received “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.”
The Virginia GOP reported hearing incidents of voters being turned away for not wearing a face covering, a measure meant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, shared with the Washington Examiner his own encounter of being told he couldn’t vote without wearing a mask. The polling location later confirmed to the Washington Examiner that Schlapp had been there and subsequently wore a mask despite the location offering options such as curbside voting to those refusing to wear a face covering.
Virginians are voting for a new governor in a race that pits Democrat Terry McAuliffe against Republican Glenn Youngkin and other down-ballot races, including the state’s Legislature.