JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Mississippi representative introduced a bill Thursday that would require masks be worn by voters in and around polling locations.
This after Gov. Tate Reeves lifted the statewide mask mandate Wednesday, making Mississippi the first state to do so.
According to the bill’s author, Rep. Jeramey Anderson, voters who aren’t wearing masks could put the public at risk of getting coronavirus.
“This is just a precaution,” he wrote. “I’m confident that most voters and election officials are going to wear masks in these places and we want to assure them that they won’t have to put their health at risk to exercise their right to vote because someone else isn’t masked.”
The bill would also make masks available at voting locations for those who wouldn’t have one on election day.
Anderson said the public has made progress in curtailing the pandemic, but that “we do not want to endanger that progress or our voters, officials, and poll workers... Please, everyone, let’s be responsible and mask up.”
State and county leaders have warned the public of the possibility of long lines at polling locations on November 3.
The Secretary of State’s office, though, has provided PPE for these precincts and that shield guards will be in place. Voters will be required to remove their masks just long enough to verify identity.