Sheriff says Maryland man arrested after refusing to wear mask at polling place

Source: The Hill | October 28, 2020 | Marina Pitofsky

A Maryland man was arrested this week after refusing to wear a mask at an early voting site in the state. 

Deputies were dispatched to an early voting site on Monday after Daniel Swain, 52, refused to leave the voting site or wear a face mask or covering, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office said in a Tuesday statement on Facebook.

Election officials had created a “designated area for voters who were unable or unwilling to wear a mask” at the voting site. But Swain and another man refused to use the area or wear a mask to cast their ballots alongside other voters.

The other individual left the polling place, but Swain refused to leave the site. 

“Mr. Swain made the choice to continue to refuse to comply directives given by the Election Judge.  When it was clear there were no other options, Mr. Swain was placed under arrest for the trespassing violation and the Office of the Harford County State’s Attorney was contacted and advised to charge Mr. Swain for a violation of the Governor’s orders in addition to the trespassing charge,” the sheriff’s office said in the Tuesday statement.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) expanded the state’s mask order in July, mandating face coverings in most indoor locations. 

Police said Swain is not banned from the polling location, and he will still be permitted to cast his ballot.

“While the polls are open to the public, they are subject to compliance with the rules and regulations set forth by the Board of Elections and the Governor of Maryland,” the sheriff’s office said in the Tuesday statement.

Swain is a former Baltimore County Department of Corrections captain who retired this year, the Baltimore Sun reported. He allegedly told officers that the request to vote in the area for those not wearing a mask was “unconstitutional.”

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