News, Indiana, Fountain County, Eric Holcomb

News, Indiana

Indiana clerk in charge of elections refuses to wear mask, even as her county sees COVID surge

Indiana clerk in charge of elections refuses to wear mask, even as her county sees COVID surge

10/18/2020 4:15:00 AM

Indiana clerk in charge of elections refuses to wear mask, even as her county sees COVID surge

A Fountain County clerk is refusing to wear or enforce masks at polling locations, stating that it is an individual's choice and exemptions are in place.

Journal & Courierthat Lawson reached out to Copenhaver and asked her to wear a mask and require masks for poll workers. However, there is no information on how the conversation went or whether Copenhaver agreed.On Friday morning, Lawson sent out a mass email addressing concerns regarding the resistance to the governor's coronavirus restrictions by"some persons," and stating that some counties are not requiring PPE among their staff. Lawson did not address Copenhaver by name.

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Newsweek subscription offers >"Indiana has secured millions of dollars in personal protective equipment (PPE) for each of your counties. This PPE includes masks, sneeze guards, gloves, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant," Lawson wrote in the email."We made a tremendous effort to deliver this on time and to ensure each county had more than enough supply for both the Primary and the General Election."

"This is not a complicated issue," she added."As election officials, we have a duty to each and every voter. We cannot force voters to comply with mask protocol, but we can ensure that all poll workers set a good example."She also mentioned that poll workers refusing to comply with the mask mandate can quickly turn into a"major issue" if an outbreak leads back to a county polling location where the clerk didn't require PPE.

"In that scenario, the responsibility falls on you and your county – not the state," Lawson wrote.Poll workers check in a resident to vote at the Wicker Park Social Center on October 06, 2020 in Highland, Indiana.Scott Olson/Getty Images/Getty

Holcomb first signed an executive order in July requiring masks inside public spaces, while using public transportation and outdoors when social distancing is not possible. At a weekly news conference on Wednesday, Holcomb announced that the mask order will be extended another two weeks.

Indiana has seen a major recent spike in coronavirus cases, setting a record for the state on Friday as it reported over 2,000 new cases in one day for the first time since the pandemic began.In rural Fountain County (with a population of just over 16,000), cases continue to surge, with many of them being reported in the past 15 days compared to the first seven months of the pandemic. As of Friday, the county has a total of 227 cases and a positivity rate of 29.7 percent over the past seven days, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

When asked about her conversations with the secretary of state's office, Copenhaver said that she is simply following orders."They just asked me to follow the guidelines," Copenhaver told theJournal & Courier."And we are."Newsweek

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Shes right, But the pic shows Everyone is wearing a mask. Wear a damn mask. Not that far from Purdue University. What say you, former gov and university pres. purduemitch GovHolcomb doesn’t back up his own Covid safety guidelines. 40 dead in Vigo County. Record breaking infection rates. Illinois won’t let us across border.

Another one of those two year old tantrum throwing babies, haven’t grown out of it yet🤦🏽‍♀️ Governmental overreach due to fear, cowardice, duplicity, deception, lying, purposeful corruption of C19 statistics. To those that deem to mandate or force anyway to wear a mask, you encourage extremism for a lie. You r solely culpable for any retaliatory resistant action.

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