I've been receiving a lot of emails and messages with some variation of the following:
Please advise everyone you know that you should not wear any campaign paraphenalia when going to the polls on November 4th. Voters can be turned away for attempting to campaign too close to the voting site. Do show support for your candidate(s) - but leave t-shirts, buttons, banners, and other items at home when you go to vote.This is and isn't true.
Based on my understanding of voting rules and regs and a convo I just had with a nice lady at the board of elections, it is most certainly true that you can't campaign within a certain distance from a polling place. It's also called electioneering. However, the distance varies by state, and I've heard everything from several blocks to a few feet, to just inside the actual voting area. I suggest you call your local board of elections to verify. FYI, in NY, it's a 100-foot radius from the entrance of the voting location.
Wearing campaign paraphernalia can most certainly count as electioneering, but it has to be a candidate that's actually running. For example, if I show up with a Gore t-shirt, I'm not technically campaigning.
What isn't true, however, is that you won't be allowed to vote. If somebody actually calls you out on your campaign gear, they can ask you to hide or remove it, and might not let you in until you do, but they can't deny you your right to vote. It's illegal if they flat-out tell you that you won't be allowed to vote, unless you refuse to remove or hide your gear. If you remove/hide it and they still tell you that you can't vote, you should do any or all of the following: ask to speak to the poll watcher, call somebody at the campaign headquarters of whatever candidate you prefer, call your board of elections, file a complaint.
SO! What I will do, and suggest you do as well, is very simple: wear a jacket so I can cover all of my gear as soon as I'm within 100 feet. I'm basically going to be obnoxious and break my double-para rule (which I apply to all paraphernalia, not just Greek gear lol). I shall be wearing my t-shirt, pins, and bumper sticker and will walk around the neighborhood that way several times throughout the day. Yep, I'm cool like that.
With that said, this is a reminder for everyone in the following states that your registration deadline is this weekend:
Alaska, Mississippi, Nevada, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington
These states have deadlines for Monday or Tuesday of next week:
Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, DC, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming
REGISTER TODAY! Fill out the form here and mail it in asap. It must be postmarked by the deadline in order to count.
- At Sun Oct 05, 01:44:00 AM Habladora said...
Hey, wonderful job keeping us all informed of registration and voting rules and regs. You kick ass - and I hope you'll post a picture or two of your election day outfit.