To the Editor,
Regarding Thomas Joyce’s Sept. 30 article (Surry in-person voting begins soon) relating to in-person voting, some information that is very important to the public was not included. Namely, the pandemic safety precautions that one can expect to see at the polling locations.
In deciding whether to vote in person or request a mail-in ballot, I called the Board of Elections to inquire about whether voters would be required to wear masks and maintain distance. I was told that there will be signs, and people will be asked to wear masks, but that they “cannot force people to wear a mask.”
Functionally, this means that a Surry County voter could show up at their polling location and find themselves indoors waiting in line with possibly infected people who think that protecting their fellow citizens by wearing a mask is a sign of weakness or a political signal. We’ve all been inside Surry County businesses, and we know that this is certain to be the case.
If you don’t want to find yourself on election day facing a choice of waiting in line for an hour between unmasked people who are coughing and sweating or giving up your voice in our democracy, now is the time to request that mail-in ballot.