A system and method for an optical component that masks non-active portions of a display and provides an electrical path for one or more display circuits. In one embodiment an optical device includes a substrate, a plurality of optical elements on the substrate, each optical element having an optical characteristic which changes in response to a voltage applied to the optical element, and a light-absorbing, electrically-conductive optical mask disposed on the substrate and offset from the plurality of optical elements, the optical mask electrically coupled to one or more of the optical elements to provide one or more electrical paths for application of voltages to the one or more optical elements. In another embodiment a method of providing an electrical signal to a plurality of optical elements of a display comprises electrically coupling an electrically-conductive light-absorbing mask to one or more optical elements, and applying a voltage to the mask to activate the one or more optical elements.

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