SECRETARY OF STATE SCOTT SCHWAB PROVIDES GUIDANCE TO COUNTIES ON MASK REQUIREMENTS
Friday, July 17, 2020
TOPEKA – Secretary of State Scott Schwab today provided guidance to county election officials on local mask requirements ahead of the August 4, Primary Election.
"Our priority has been, and continues to be, ensuring every Kansan has the opportunity to exercise their right to vote in the 2020 elections," said Secretary Schwab. "Kansas voters who choose to vote in-person will be allowed to vote, regardless of whether or not they wear a mask."
A memo from Schwab’s office to county election officials states that no individual, who is otherwise qualified to vote, shall be turned away from a polling location for wearing or not wearing a mask. 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. If a properly registered voter, state law dictates the individual be allowed to cast a ballot.
"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 a face mask will not be tolerated and is subject to litigation." said Secretary Schwab.
The Office of Secretary of State encourages all Kansans to be safe and follow the recommended safety protocols of health professionals. Every polling location in Kansas has been provided with personal protective equipment kits that contain masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant and plexiglass shields to protect the health and safety of those present. In addition, voters will be given disposable stylus pens to use on paper ballots or election machinery. 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.