Electioneering at the Polls - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Electioneering at the Polls

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If you're looking to be an observer near the polls, you have to sign a sheet each day saying you will follow certain rules. For everyone else, you can not discuss candidates or issues within 100 feet of the check-in table. Once you go past that line, all hats, t-shirts and even buttons, need to be covered.

Carol Barry, Polling Location Team Leader said, "So we come out periodically to make sure, because we do have some electioneering people here."

People hoping to have a last minute impact on election results stand out here, but once you're within 100 feet of the check-in desk, they can't talk with you regarding candidates or issues.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is ready to respond to any issues at voting locations.

Bob Harmon from the Washoe County Sheriff's Office said, "Our key goal is to make sure that those that are qualified to vote can come out and do so without feeling intimidated without feeling threatened." He continues, "That includes making sure that our deputies are aware of what all the rights are of people at polling places."

Barry said, "We had a young woman yesterday who wasn't aware of the rules so we just went out and told her she needed to go and stand beyond the 100 foot line."

Inside, voters are asked to remove or hide items showing support. "We've had people that have full shirts on, we've asked them to turn their shirts on inside out, however we still will allow them to vote even if they refuse to do that" said Barry. 

If you do refuse, Poll workers get you to a machine and out the door quickly. They keep an eye on electioneering outside and voters inside, but the workers have eyes on them as well. 

There is an observation area at each location and they sign a list of rules to follow each day which includes not talking to any voters.

Barry said,  "I do interact with them periodically, they will ask a question about something and I will answer, but they're role is pretty much to just sit and observe."

Some observers are part of a large group, so if they see something they either report it to their organization, or they can report complaints to the registrar of voters.

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