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Do Michigan voters have to wear masks at polling places?

A "masks required" sign at Brody Hall on Michigan State University's campus in East Lansing on Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.
Sarah Lehr
/
WKAR-MSU
A "masks required" sign at Brody Hall on Michigan State University's campus in East Lansing on Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.

Masks are encouraged, but not required, at Michigan polls and clerk's offices.

That's despite "masks required" signs up in schools and other buildings that serve as polling locations.

Brody Hall in East Lansing, for instance, displays signs reminding people of Michigan State University's indoor mask requirement. The campus dining hall is also a polling place and a satellite clerk's office.

But, as Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum explains, those mandates should not be enforced against voters because of guidance from the Michigan Secretary of State.

"Voters shall not be turned away for failure to wear a mask," Byrum said.

MLive reporter Emily Lawler tweeted a picture of a "masks are required" sign inside a city building Tuesday that doubles as a polling place for some Lansing voters. Masks are required inside city of Lansing buildings for situations other than when people are voting.

Lansing election workers will not be enforcing any mask requirements, City Clerk Chris Swope confirmed, although officials don't plan to take down the signs on Election Day.

"Some buildings have signs that are in place every day," Swope said in a text message. "We will not be removing those signs of our host locations."

If someone wrongly tries to stop you from voting, Byrum advises asking for the precinct chair and then the local clerk.

Michigan polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Voters have until 8 p.m. that day to register to vote at a local clerk's office or to turn in absentee ballots.

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