Type to search

County Elections Coordinator Refuses to Mask Up at Training for Poll Workers

Your Online News Source for Canyon Lake, Texas

Coronavirus COVID-19 Election 2020 Local News

County Elections Coordinator Refuses to Mask Up at Training for Poll Workers

Comal County Elections Coordinator Cynthia Jaqua tells poll workers who show up for training that she isn't required to wear a mask because she's social-distancing. File image.

The Comal County employee charged with teaching poll workers how to keep voters safe from COVID-19 during the Nov. 3 General Election refuses to wear face masks at her training sessions.

Elections Coordinator Cynthia Jaqua, who leads mandatory training sessions for election judges and clerks, showed up without a mask for today’s class, and it wasn’t the first time either, according to several people.

Lynn Silver, an election judge, said she arrived at Comal County Elections office today to find all other attendees masked up and sitting six feet apart. Jaqua, standing in front of the room, wasn’t wearing a mask.

“I stood up and waved to Ms. Jaqua from the back of the room, and asked her to please wear a mask since she was doing the training,” Silver said on Facebook. “She answered me saying that the CDC recommends it but she is not required to wear a mask. I then asked her if she could please put on a mask out of respect for people in attendance. She replied that she would not because everyone was social distancing. I thanked her and left. I am shocked that folks are so disrespectful of senior citizens and humans in general when it comes to mask-wearing.”

Comal County Public Information Officer Cary Zayas said the county abides by Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order No. GA-29, which makes masks mandatory when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public.

However, the order exempts “any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face-covering is strongly encouraged.”

Roxanna Deane, president of the League of Women Voters of the Comal Area, said unless there is a documented health reason, everyone working with voters or training election workers should wear a face covering.

“This protects election staff and workers and sets the example for poll workers,” she said. “These are difficult times and we should all be working to make voters feel as safe as possible when they are casting their ballot.”

During early voting in July, Jaqua said in a statement that all poll workers should wear face coverings for their health and safety and that of others.

Election judges oversee polling locations. Election clerks are tasked with looking at drivers’ licenses, finding voters in the poll book, and providing the numbers to take into the voting machines.

Today is National Voters Registration Day.

Jaqua did not immediately return a call from MyCanyonLake.com.

According to Pew Research, in the 2018 general election, around six-in-ten U.S. poll workers (58 percent) were ages 61 and older, including roughly a quarter (27 percent) who were over 70.

Nationally, there are concerns that enough older Americans won’t show up to work at the polls for fear of COVID-19, forcing some voting locations to shut down and creating long lines at others.

To learn more about what’s happening in Texas, click HERE.

Please read our commenting rules before posting.

Please review our commenting rules before submitting a post.


  1. tim October 15, 2020

    Fantastic woman! I love how the story leaves out the part where social distancing meets all the requirements and you don’t have to wear a mask if you’re 6 feet apart from someone. Another stupid story pushing shaming on someone that’s following the rules because they’re not putting a stupid cover on their face and submitting to government that doesn’t even mandate the mask. You people are stupid!

  2. Nick September 24, 2020

    My wife is a teacher and has to wear a mask all day long with little kids who also have to wear a mask.

    Why can’t you ma’am?

    I also manage a business and have to wear a mask.

    Is she aware that if someone walks to wear you WERE they can also contract covid after you left that spot?

  3. Lisa Beebe September 23, 2020

    Not only is it possible to speak and train with a mask on, Kaci, but thousands of teachers are doing it very well every day. I continue to be amazed by the number of people who feel so strongly about their “rights” but do not seem to appreciate the duties that come with them. Ms. Jaqua may be within her rights under the Governor’s GA 29 order and the CDC guidelines but she also has a duty to those she is entrusted to train to respect their concerns and provide a role model for the poll workers. I am saddened that respect and compassion for others has been replaced by so many people with divisive political discourse. This is not about vilifying people who are acting within their rights it is about providing good stewardship and leadership when you are a public official.

  4. Teri Montross September 23, 2020

    She needs to be dismissed immediately!

  5. Omar Guerrero September 23, 2020

    It seems that she is a Trump supporter, it’s fine, but she must wear a mask to protect others from her germs. Elected officials needs to step up and do their job and keep her out of this election poll. Don’t be afraid we need to feel safe. As it is we will not be safe there with so many people breathing your air.

  6. Whenua September 23, 2020

    Who in the word, is overseeing this instructor?
    R&R (Repair or Replace)

  7. Billy Ray September 23, 2020

    This is outrageous. No concern fir the people volunteering their time to assist Elections. This Elections Coordinator needs to be reassigned where she has no major responsibilities managing people. This also demonstrates a mismanaged office. The county clerk should not give this type of discretion that endangers folks. Plain dumb.

  8. Kaci Sisk September 23, 2020

    Cynthia was well within her rights under the governors GA 29 order, as well as within the CDC (conflicting) guidelines. Have you ever tried to speak and train with a mask on? Not possible. For those trying to instill fear into voters, or poll workers, stop. Not your job. Do what you think is good for you and let other people make their own decisions within the guidelines that are published. Stop trying to vilify those who are acting within their rights.This article also is very slanted. It does not give the guidelines from the CDC, it is not give the GA 29 order rules, and it does not take into consideration the fact that 6 feet distancing is very acceptable under both.

    1. Bill Slater September 23, 2020

      6 feet is a minimum. It has been shown and stated many times that both parties must wear a mask. The poll election workers must wear a mask. This is a county employee that has run amock. They are begging for people to work elections and advertising that they have high standards. High standards do not include wearing a mask. Poorly run office. What else are they doing wrong.

    2. Sarah Gilles September 23, 2020

      Maybe you should ask that question of all the teachers who are doing exactly that. Wearing a mask while speaking and teaching. Or essential workers everywhere. Or students. All day. Ridiculous. She’s putting herself at risk the most. As the picture shows, she is obviously in a high risk category if she were to contract COVID. Guess she can just put her faith that she will be spared in her savior, Trump.

    3. Don Zant September 23, 2020

      Totally possible. I’m a teacher and I teach with a Mask and a face shield. She clearly does not care for others, especially when asked to do so by someone she was training. Shame on her.

    4. Steve Weber September 24, 2020

      Shut up please!

    5. LF September 24, 2020

      This is so wrong.

    6. Tracy Post September 24, 2020

      You are ridiculous. Yes, ridiculous. I’m a teacher, and a month ago you told me to suck it up and return to my job. I did. I’m still risking my health. I wear a mask for 8 hours and teach children. Do I love it? Nope. I hate it. But I LOVE the kids. But I respectfully abide by public health regulations and do my job. Sit down with your total nonsense.

  9. LG September 23, 2020

    In July’s runoff election , signs stated voters MUST wear masks and the poll workers had masks on. It was reiterated that all voters must wear masks.

    Horrible example by our County Employee charged with training election judges by refusing to wear a ma. Polls will be open for several weeks and voting turnout should be very heavy.

    How don you ask others to do what you will not do. It needs to be a uniform message across all poll workers, election judges and voters. Same message.

  10. Leslie Beia September 22, 2020

    I was hoping to volunteer at the polls when I get back to TX next week if I’m not too late. But I’d hate to think that the local polling stations were run by folks politicizing the virus! We should all be able to put our differences aside (as most people claim they would like to do) and come together as citizens, safely, to vote.

  11. Julie Swift September 22, 2020

    This lack of regard and respect for others is disturbing. It is very little to ask that people be allowed to vote safely. Why would these county employees deny that?

  12. Jan Rodriguez September 22, 2020

    I am scheduled for poll worker training. As a nurse and immunocompromised I will try and find somewhere else to take the training. It appears Ms Jaqua has little regard for the poll workers, poll judges and the voters.

    Very concerning.

  13. Glenna Dunnington September 22, 2020

    I’m scheduled for judge training in two days. I’m an RN and over 65. Please wear your mask Cynthia. This is unethical and unsafe intimidation.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *