US Poll Workers in Texas County Could Face $1,000 Fine if They Turn Away Unmasked Voters
Election officials put problem-plagued primary in past, as early voting starts in Ga.
The June primary was filled with problems in Georgia's largest counties, but as early voting starts, election officials are confident the general won't be a repeat. "All of our workers are trained, all the early voting sites are set up, so we'll be ready to open on Monday morning and serve the voters," said Rick Barron, director of elections and registration for Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia and home to most of Atlanta.
Poll workers in Galveston County, Texas, could pay a penalty if they turn away voters without masks.
According to CBS DFW, an executive order was signed on Friday barring the requirement of a protective face covering to vote. Ultimately, this order has the intention of allowing all eligible citizens to vote, regardless of whether or not they are wearing a mask.
"We have had some problems in Galveston County as recently as late [Friday] morning from certain poll workers insisting that voters wear a mask. If they do not, they are not giving them the opportunity to vote," Galveston County Judge Mark Henry, who signed the order, said during a press conference on Friday. "This is a significant constitutional issue."
An Election Without Chaos Will Be a Miracle
This year, I trained to work at the polls. I’m sure I’ll screw up.We were paid $60 for the training. We’ll be paid $225 for the 16 and a half hours we’ll work on Election Day, at polling locations I suspect won’t be perfectly COVID-compliant.
Galveston County's The Daily News reported that county officials encountered issues with some voting locations at private facilities, prior to Henry's executive order.
"We have tried for the better part of this week to get this issue resolved at low levels. That has proven unsuccessful to this point," he added. "Honestly, it's getting a little frustrating having to go through this much activity to ensure that everyone has the right to vote."
NBC affiliate KPRC reported that Henry himself was turned away from the polls without a mask on.
Poll workers who refuse mask-less voters could face a fine of up to $1,000.
"The right to vote is a fundamental right of every eligible voter and is essential to our democracy," the county stated. "Voter suppression and voter intimidation will not be condoned in Galveston County for any reason."
Why Do Nonwhite Georgia Voters Have to Wait in Line for Hours? Their Numbers Have Soared, and Their Polling Places Have Dwindled.
by Stephen Fowler, Georgia Public Broadcasting Congress works for you. Learn how to be a better boss with the User’s Guide to Democracy, a series of personalized emails about what your representatives actually do. This article is co-published by ProPublica, Georgia Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio. Kathy spotted the long line of voters as she pulled into the Christian City Welcome Center about 3:30 p.m., ready to cast her ballot in the June 9 primary election. Hundreds of people were waiting in the heat and rain outside the lush, tree-lined complex in Union City, an Atlanta suburb with 22,400 residents, nearly 88% of them Black.
Newsweek reached out to Henry and the Galveston County office, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott previously stated in July that though masks are strongly recommended to curb the spread of the coronavirus, they are not required. His executive order outlined the requirements and exceptions for mask wearing, which included voting.
Abbott noted that masks are not required by "any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged."
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Galveston County had a total of 12,046 coronavirus cases accumulated from March 4 until October 17. About 253 of the 254 counties in Texas have reported cases as of Saturday, and the state has seen a total of 16,984 fatalities.
Why Texas Republicans' hold on the state is loosening .
The huge surge of early voting in Texas' rapidly growing cities and inner suburbs likely marks the end of unchallenged Republican dominance in America's second largest state -- a seismic shift in the nation's electoral landscape.Even if President Donald Trump retains enough rural strength to hold Texas in next week's election, which many still consider the most likely outcome, the swelling voter turnout in and around the increasingly Democratic-leaning cities of Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Fort Worth points toward a return to political competition in the state after more than two decades of almost uninterrupted Republican ascendancy.