Secretary of State safety regulations for polling places

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JACKSON, MISS. (WCBI) – In light of the state Supreme Court’s decision today regarding absentee voting, we asked the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office about COVID-19 precautions at the polls.

On the Secretary of State’s safety at the polls web page, it shows where sanitation practices will be in place and mask available to voters.

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Poll workers will also be given protective gear.

According to the website, voters cannot be turned away if they are not wearing a mask.

Voters are only encouraged to social distance.

Polling places will placed six feet between voters but only if possible.

Those last three items on the secretary of state’s website are not in line with mandates and suggestions from the Mississippi State Department of Health.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says he has only reviewed the plans with the secretary of state’s office.

He there should be personal and collective responsibility at the polls.

“We are there to support that, to make it happen, and I would encourage people locally to get with their local leaders and say we expect this to be done safely, because it can be done in a pretty darn safe way,” said Dr. Dobbs.

“I’m not really sure what authority the secretary of state has to mandate those things. We have a statewide mask mandate in place today, that applies to all facets. So, that would apply should it stay in existance,” said Governor Reeves. “We’re gonna work with the secretary of state and with Dr. Dobbs to make sure we have a safe election.”

The secretary of state’s office has not returned our email requesting information on who the office consulted with to make those rules or why there is not mask requirement in place to vote.

The general election is November third.