Editorial: Electioneering

WESTON EDITORIAL

It’s important to remember proper etiquette at the polling place.

The registrars of voters are particularly concerned about people violating the 75-foot area leading to the polls at the Weston Middle School.

On Election Day, the law prohibits solicitation or advertisement on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate within a restricted area beginning 75 feet from any outside entrance used as an entry to the polling place.

This is called “electioneering” or “campaigning.”

The law states that no person shall loiter, peddle or offer any advertising matter, ballot or circular to another person within a 75-foot radius from any such outside entrance, or in any corridor leading from the outside entrance to the polling place, or in any room opening upon any such corridor.

Campaign materials may not be displayed within the polling place or the restricted area, and electors must be asked to remove such materials from sight.

Persons may not bring automobiles displaying candidate signs within the 75-foot restricted area, or wear campaign buttons or politically charged apparel. This includes items of apparel that identify with a particular political party (for example, elephants or donkeys on clothing or jewelry).

Most newspapers and some magazines will have election-related articles, so these are not permitted within the 75-foot restricted area.

Additionally, discussion about candidates or the election is considered electioneering within the restricted area.

While this has been an extremely contentious race, there’s no need for controversy at the polls in Weston. In years past, activity outside the polls has been so intense and crowded that a former police chief said going to vote at the middle school was like “running the gauntlet.”

Voters have a right to their own space and privacy. This isn’t a barbecue or block party. So please be respectful of the voting rules. There should be no harassment, blatant or subtle. For some people, this will be the first time they have ever voted.

So please lead by example and show them the proper way the election process is done.

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