Publication Date



Requiring masks at the polls might implicate a clash
between two vital rights: the constitutional right to vote and the
right to protect one’s health. Yet the debate during the 2020
election over requirements to wear a mask at the polls obscured
one key fact: a majority of Americans supported a mask
mandate for voting. That is the new insight we provide in this
Essay: when surveyed, Americans strongly supported safety
measures for in-person voting, and that support was high
regardless of partisanship. One implication of our results is
that by making some widely supported safety modifications,
state election officials likely can increase, in a non-polarizing
fashion, voters’ feelings of safety when going to their polling
place, especially during a global health emergency.