Is a face mask required to vote in Ohio?

Jimmy Howard, waited in long lines Tuesday morning to vote early at the Montgomery County Board of Elections. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Jimmy Howard, waited in long lines Tuesday morning to vote early at the Montgomery County Board of Elections. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Ohio election officials are strongly encouraging voters this election to wear face masks to the polls for the health and safety of others.

However, voters will be permitted to cast their ballots whether or not they decide to wear a mask.

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Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jan Kelly said election officials have a protocol for voters who show up without a mask, which includes offering them a disposable mask for free.

“If they refuse the face mask, we offer them curbside voting,” Kelly said. "If they refuse curbside voting, we welcome them to the Board of Elections or the precinct center to vote and then they leave.”

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Voting curbside means two poll workers — one Democrat, one Republican — will come to the voter’s car with a paper ballot.

Guidance issued by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to county boards of elections in August states “no matter what, every eligible voter who wishes to vote must be permitted to do so after they are asked to consider safer alternatives."

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