Kansas Secretary of State says in-person voters will be allowed to vote, with or without a mask

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In this Sept. 8, 2020 photo, voting booths are kept socially distant at the Chesterfield, N.H. polling site. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Office of Secretary of State on Monday encouraged all Kansans to be safe and follow the recommended coronavirus safety protocols, while simultaneously releasing a letter to county election officials saying a mask will not be required at polling stations.

“As Kansas voters begin to cast their ballots for the 2020 election, our priority is to ensure every Kansan has the opportunity to exercise their right to vote,” said Secretary Scott Schwab. “Kansas voters who choose to vote in-person will be allowed to vote, regardless of whether or not they wear a mask.”

Secretary Schwab reminded officials that Article 5, Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution states there are only three criteria to be qualified to vote in Kansas: age, citizenship and residence.

“Exercising one’s fundamental right to vote is not, and should not be, contingent upon whether or not they choose to wear a mask. Voter intimidation or suppression based on the use or non-use of face mask, or for any other reason, will not be tolerated,” he said.

According to the Secretary of State, poll workers will be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) kits containing hand sanitizer, gloves, face masks and disinfectant to all polling locations ahead of the November election.

In addition, plexiglass shields have also been purchased by the office for all polling locations to create an extra layer of protection for voters and election workers.

Voters who cast ballots in-person will be given disposable stylus pens to
use on paper ballots or election machinery to limit direct contact with common touchpoints.

Voters are reminded to maintain a minimum of six feet distance from others while waiting in line and should anticipate greater distance between voting booths at their polling location.

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