By Pete Bianco
On Tuesday, voters can cast their ballot without a face covering.
According to the NYS Board of elections ‘safety measures for voting in 2020’, voters “must wear masks”, but “if a voter refuses…they should be allowed to vote normally.”
You may want to print page 3 of link to the document above and bring it with you to educate the poll workers and law enforcement about voting rules.
We should know our rights and protect them in order to protect the freedoms and democracy that make this country great.
To be specific regarding the legality of the mask issue, governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order requiring people to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face covering. And to be clear, an executive order is not a law. The governor does not have the authority to make laws. That is why there is separation of powers or the three branches of government. A legislative body comprised of hundreds of representatives makes laws, not a single person.
Because the executive order is not a law, there is no legal mechanism for enforcement. As was clarified in an interview on the Capitol Pressroom, the only way a person can be arrested is if they really push the envelope and are belligerent. In that case, they can be charged with trespass. Staying calm and polite when speaking with people avoids the risk of arrest in these situations.
Secondly, even for those who believe that Cuomo’s executive order requires people to wear a face mask many are unaware that the order states masks are only required for people “if they are able to medically tolerate it.”
And additionally, people are prohibited from requesting or requiring medical or other documentation from an individual who declines to wear a face covering due to a medical or other health condition. That is both in Board of Elections safety measures for voting in 2020 and a document from the NYS Department of Health.
Masks do not protect people from viruses. The CDC’s own website says so in an article titled “Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings” dated May 2020. To quote this review of ten randomized controlled trials, “We did not find evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons or by persons in the general community to reduce the susceptibility.”
To tell people to just mask up is not only unethical, but it is illegal. It is not legal in a work place to allow an employee to work in a mask or a face covering without first doing a medical evaluation to make sure that employee can medically tolerate it.
This is important because we know it is very tasking to the cardio pulmonary system when you cover someones mouth and nose and force them to do their work. Even if they are not working and just sitting it is taxing to the cardio pulmonary system because it changes the way you breathe. You have to forcibly inhale, forcibly exhale. People have had heart attacks under these circumstances and that is why OSHA created these standards in the first place.
If a voter is intimidated at the polls, a person found guilty of voter intimidation can be fined up to $1,000 imprisoned up to one year, or both.