Campaign sign pops up outside polling place

  • Blog Post by:
  • November 2, 2010 - 4:23 PM



Guillermo Narvaez sent this photo of a car parked near the entrance to the polling place at Galtier Elementary School in St. Paul. He said the car and the campaign sign for Teresa Collett, who is running against Betty McCollum in the 4th Congressional District, have been outside the school since 8 a.m.

Election officials and police were notified, but as of 2:30 pm, it is still there, in an area clearly identified as Voter Parking Only ... Seems like a small matter, if it is part of an aggregate, then it is a flagrant violation of the states electoral laws and the candidates should take notice.

 Ramsey County Elections Manager Joe Mansky said if the car is within 100 feet of the building, it would be a violation of a state law that prohibits soliciting near polling places. It's a petty misdemeanor to violate the law. Here's the language of the law:

A person may not display campaign material, post signs, ask, solicit, or in any manner try to induce or persuade a voter within a polling place or within 100 feet of the building in which a polling place is situated, or anywhere on the public property on which a polling place is situated, on primary or election day to vote for or refrain from voting for a candidate or ballot question.

Mansky said he believed an election judge at the school had called the police, but "I don't know that anybody has the authority to tow the car." Typically, election judges will try to find the owner of the car or contact the campaign, he said. If that doesn't work, he said anyone can file a complaint with the Office of Administrative Hearings. Violators could be subject to a $300 fine.

Todd Henderson, Collett's campaign manager, said he hadn't heard of the situation involving the car, but the campaign had sent out "strict instructions" to supporters about displaying campaign material.

Have you seen any questionable campaign material near a polling place today?






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