MENTOR, Ohio (WJW) –Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Tuesday that masks would be required at the polls.
Last week LaRose made national headlines when he had said the masks would be encouraged but not required in the November general election.
“No Ohioan should be afraid to come and vote,” LaRose said Tuesday.
Last week he told FOX 8 that voters who chose not to wear a mask would not be turned away.
But today, he said anyone who shows up without a mask would be offered one.
“Just want to make sure that the message goes out loud and clear that masks are required at Ohio voting locations,” LaRose said. “They’re required for both our elections officials and they’re required for the voters who come.”
LaRose said Ohio would have four weeks of absentee or mail-in voting and four weeks of early voting.
Polls will open November 3 at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.
LaRose said President Donald Trump, who has spoken out against mail-in voting, doesn’t have a problem with Ohio’s process.
“What he’s really talking about is universal mail-in voting,” LaRose explained.
He says the difference for Ohio’s system is that absentee ballots have to be requested by each voter.
In a universal mail-in system, LaRose said every voter would receive a ballot without requesting one.
He says absentee ballot request forms will be sent to every registered voter in Ohio.
The absentee ballots will start going out October 6, he says.
LaRose was asked about adding additional 24-hour ballot drop boxes.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson had asked the state for more secure 24-hour locations.
LaRose says that decision would have to be made by Ohio’s General Assembly but does say he supports it.
He says there will be one drop box at every county board of elections.