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Despite university mask mandate, voters cannot be required to wear mask at IMU polling location



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People will not be required to wear a face mask in the Indiana Memorial Union polling location. A mandate at the location would be characterized as restricting the voter or voter suppression, said Karen Wheeler, Monroe County election supervisor. Carl Cote

The Indiana Memorial Union has been a polling location in the past and will be as well this year. Despite the campus-wide mask mandate, people will not be required to wear a face mask in the IMU polling location.

It can’t require this because that would be characterized as restricting the voter or voter suppression, said Karen Wheeler, Monroe County election supervisor.

“We cannot require a voter to wear a mask but highly encourage the wearing of masks,” Wheeler said in an email Tuesday. “We have not had one voter not wear a mask. They all have been very compliant on this issue.”

On the Indiana government website, it mentions different safety precautions people can take, such as wearing a mask and social distancing, but does not list any of them as requirements. The website also says voters will be provided a disposable finger sleeve for touch-screen voting machines and the machines will be cleaned frequently on election day.

Wheeler also said the poll workers and staff will be required to wear masks and/or face shields at the IMU.

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