With polls opening across Alabama for runoff elections Tuesday, officials say you don’t have to wear a mask to vote.
In Madison County, Probate Judge Frank Barger said masks are strongly recommended but not required at the polls Tuesday, despite the county’s mandatory mask order.
“We will not deny anyone their right to vote based on the refusal to wear a mask,” Barger said.
This election is happening during unprecedented times and Barger asks anyone voting to be patient tomorrow.
He said poll workers received extra training and are prepared for any situation that might arise tuesday.
“We tend to -- in our action -- act with kindness. So, we’re gonna offer you a mask, we’re going to encourage it. But again, if you refuse to wear one, we’re gonna process you and ensure that you are able to vote tomorrow. We’re never gonna deny someone their right.”
Barger said Madison County is doing everything it can to make sure the election runs smoothly. Safety is still a top priority for both voters and workers -- which is why the use of a mask is strongly encouraged.
“Keep in mind, there are so few items on this ballot, you’ll be able to vote very quickly tomorrow,” Barger said. “Now, there might be a little bit of a wait to get into your location because of social distancing, but the time you spend inside your precinct with that mask on -- it’s going to be very, very marginal. So keep that in mind as well, if you’re just refusing to wear that mask.”
People will be asked to use hand sanitizer when they enter polling locations. Barger added that it couldn’t hurt to bring your own pen so you don’t have to touch one that others have used.