In some Kansas City-area jurisdictions, voters without masks won't be turned away

Screen Shot 2020-10-20 at 5.44.01 PM.png
Posted at 6:19 PM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 19:33:20-04

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — People who vote in Johnson County, Kansas, Jackson County, Missouri, and Kansas City, Missouri won't be turned away if they are not wearing a mask.

Corey Dillon, director for the Jackson County Election Board said voters are strongly encouraged to wear masks.

Dillon said all poll workers will be wearing masks and voting touch screens will be properly spaced out and sanitized after every use. Voters will also receive a pen/stylus they will take with them after voting.

Dillon said the election board does have options for people who cannot wear a mask for health reasons.

"We will have election judges available to voters curbside, particularly those with any kind of physical disabilities or who can't wear a mask and would prefer to stay outside," Dillon said.

Emily and Aaron Morina voted in-person absentee in Independence Tuesday and said masks being strongly encouraged rather than required leaves them feeling a little uneasy.

"It's a pandemic right now, and so masks should be required it's just basic public health safety," Aaron Morina said.

Emily Morina said she appreciates the board having options for people who cannot wear masks.

"It's a good thing to have another option for people who are in that category," she said.

A spokesperson for the Kansas City, Missouri, Election Board said it also strongly encourages voters to wear a mask, but will not turn people away without them.

The board is asking people with physical disabilities who are voting curbside to go to the Union Station location.

Nathan Carter with the Johnson County Election Office said the Kansas Secretary of State's office recently came down with an order that voters without masks cannot be denied the right to vote.

Carter said workers will be required to wear masks, and other precautions at in-person voting locations will be in place, such as masks available for those who want one, hand sanitizer, plexi-glass shields between workers and voters at check-in and social distancing.

Voters in Johnson County will get a single-use stylus pen and voting machines will be sanitized between each use.