Harford County man arrested for refusing to wear mask at early voting location

Daniel Swain.jpg
Posted at 1:14 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 13:14:45-04

HARFORD COUNTY — A Harford County man was arrested for refusing to wear a mask at an early voting location while trying to cast his ballot.

At about 2:46 pm on Monday, deputies assigned to the Northern Precinct were called to the Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company, where early voting was occurring.

Deputies had been called to respond for two people inside the polling area that would not comply with the directions of the election officials.

As a result, election officials asked the two men to leave the location. After they refused, the two men were considered to be trespassing.

Polling places are under the supervision and purview of the of the Board of Elections, and as such, an Election Judge can opt to remove a person from the polling place.

Once on scene, the information provided to deputies indicated that the Harford County Board of Elections had set a designated area for voters who were unable or unwilling to wear a mask while exercising their right to vote.

52-year-old Daniel Swain and the other man were unwilling to wear a mask, per Governor’s Hogan’s orders, and refusing to use the area designated for them to safely cast their ballot.

Deputies worked to resolve the situation for nearly 30 minutes. At that time, one man complied and left the premises, however, Swain made the choice to continue to refuse to comply directives given by the Election Judge.

Deputies say when it was clear there were no other options, Swain was placed under arrest for the trespassing violation and the Office of the Harford County State’s Attorney was contacted and advised to charge Swain for a violation of the Governor’s orders in addition to the trespassing charge.

He was arrested and transported to the Harford County Detention Center for charging.

The Harford County Sheriff's Office said Swain was not banned from the location, and is still able to cast his ballot.