JARRETTSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — A Maryland man is suing several Harford County officials after he refused to wear a mask at a polling center Monday and was arrested for trespassing.
According to Maryland court records, 52-year-old Daniel Swain is suing Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, the Harford County Board of Elections, Acting Director of the Harford County Board of Elections Kim Slusar and the Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company & Board of Directors after he was arrested for trespassing Monday afternoon while attempting to vote.
Deputies were called to the Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company, an early voting center, at around 2:46 p.m.
They were told two people inside the polling place were refusing to wear a mask, so election officials asked them to leave.
Responding deputies spoke with the two men for nearly 30 minutes. The second man complied and left the polling place; however, Swain continued to refuse to comply with the election judge’s directives.
Deputies said they arrested Swain when “it was clear there were no other options.”
According to court records, Swain filed a complaint for declaratory relief, a temporary restraining order and temporary and permanent injunctive relief — voting rights.
Police did note that he is not banned from the polling place and can still cast his ballot there if he follows the rules, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office did not have any additional comment Wednesday: “We have nothing further beyond the statement that was released yesterday.”
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) October 28, 2020
The Harford County Board of Elections issued a statement Wednesday morning, which read:
“The Harford County Board of Elections has made, and will continue to make, every effort to afford each eligible voter the opportunity to exercise his or her constitutional right to vote. At the same time, we must protect the health of our citizens and the election staff by following Governor Hogan’s directives and the guidance of the Maryland State Board of Elections. Our goal is always a safe, fair and successful election.”