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Greenwood City Prosecutor will prosecute violations of masking ordinance at voting precincts tomorrow

Monday, November 2, 2020, 4:15 pm News Flash Archive

Greenwood City Prosecutor Charles Swayze III has just stated that his office will prosecute voters who are charged with failing to wear a mask at the polling places in tomorrow's election.

This in spite of Mayor Carolyn McAdams' repeated assurances that the city police will not enforce the ordinance at polling places tomorrow.

This means that citizens who have a moral or ethical objection to wearing masks will be allowed to vote, but may be criminally prosecuted afterwards for doing so.

The Greenwood City Council adopted an ordinance that requires the wearing of masks in public places, and makes it a crime not to do so. But the lack of a face mask cannot be used to deprive a voter of the right to cast a vote on election day at the polls.

So while the city police will not be enforcing the ordinance, it is still technically a crime in Greenwood for voters to appear at the precincts without wearing a mask, even if the person has a moral or ethical objection to doing so.

Swayze indicated this afternoon that, if charges were filed against a voter, his office would criminally prosecute the accused in city court.

Any citizen who observes a masking violation can file criminal charges against that person, and Swayze's office will press those criminal charges, according to Swayze.

The Taxpayers Channel posed this specific question to Swayze earlier today:

Will the city of Greenwood, or your office, PROSECUTE any voter for failing to wear a mask at the polling place on election day, should such a charge be referred to the court by an affiant?

Mr. Swayze replied a few minutes ago:

I will prosecute any lawful affidavit filed or citation issued as a result of a violation of any code section, ordinance or statute.

This leaves voters who will not wear masks without a way to cast a vote in tomorrow's election. Such voters did not qualify to vote by absentee ballot, and do not qualify to vote "curbside" ballots tomorrow either.

No doubt this will lead to voter intimidation, as those who do not wear masks can only vote under the threat of criminal prosecution.

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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