From the Harford County Sheriff’s Office:
Since March 2020, and the beginning of the Maryland State of Emergency for the COVID – 19 Pandemic, Sheriff Gahler has been very clear that deputies would handle reported mask violations through education and would not be making arrests or issuing criminal citations solely for refusing to follow the Governors’ order on wearing masks. However; if a private property owner, store manager, or in this case, Election Official needed assistance in having a person vacate a premise, we would enforce a trespassing violation. That is exactly what occurred in the following incident. While the polls are open to the public, they are subject to compliance with the rules and regulations set forth by the Board of Elections and the Governor of Maryland.
At approx. 2:46 pm, on October 26, 2020, deputies assigned to the Northern Precinct were dispatched to the Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company, where early voting was occurring. Deputies had been called to respond for two persons 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. Upon the refusal, 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 Constitution right to vote. Mr. Swain and the other individual 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, Mr. Swain made the choice to continue to refuse to comply directives given by the Election Judge. When it was clear there were no other options, Mr. 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 Mr. Swain for a violation of the Governor’s orders in addition to the trespassing charge.
Daniel Swain, 52, with an address in Fallston, was arrested and transported to the Harford County Detention Center for charging. It is worth noting, Mr. Swain was not banned from the location, and is still able to cast his ballot.