TRENTON, N.J. – Mask up or be denied polling place access. That’s the message Gov. Phil Murphy issued at his Wednesday COVID-19 press briefing. Voters “will not be allowed in. It’s that simple,” New Jersey Globe reported him saying.
Assemblyman Ron Dancer took exception to the governor’s comments and announced he is planning to introduce legislation protecting the rights of all residents to vote in person.
“With all the talk about fair access to voting, one would think the governor would have provided a more reasoned response,” Dancer said (R-Ocean). “We are already facing a poll worker shortage. Are they now supposed to act as the masking police and turn voters away? No one should be denied the opportunity to cast their ballot in person. If the state requires face masks for voting, the state must provide face masks for voters.”
The assemblyman added that the governor’s own executive orders make allowances for individuals to decline to wear a face covering due to medical conditions. Those individuals are not required to provide documentation to support their claims.
Dancer’s legislation will require the state to supply face coverings at polling locations to ensure that no one is denied the right to vote in person. In addition, voters will not be required to show proof of COVID vaccination.