Monday, May 23, 2016
Emrick Slams Voter Inside Polling Place
Though he supposedly writes the laws, he does a pretty lousy job of following them. I want to tell you a story about his antics on election day because it tells you that he is a short-tempered bully who is perfectly willing to use the power of his office to intimidate voters.
I missed this story on election day and am only telling it now.
Becky Bartlett is an Upper Nazareth Township resident who cares about her community. She is the person who recently went through Farmview with her husband and a few others, filling 25 garbage bags.
She's also friendly with Dave Mattei, who decided to wage a write-in campaign against Emrick as a Democrat. So on election day, she stood outside the polling precinct at Upper Nazareth East (it's the municipal building) trying to get Dave a few votes from her friends and neighbors.
This is called core political speech.
Because she also happens to live and vote in that precinct, she eventually decided to go in and vote. She was careful to bring no campaign literature with her, being mindful that electioneering is prohibited inside the polling place. Her husband decided to vote around the same time, and walked in to vote after she did, and was separated from his wife by a few people.
While Bartlett waited her turn to vote, Joe Emrick pranced inside the polling place, even though he is a candidate and had no watcher certificate. He walked up to the election judge, and in a stage whisper, began to run down Bartlett, warning the election judge to "keep an eye" on her for illegal politicking. He was, of course, loud enough that other people in the room could hear, including Becky's neighbors. The people present included several of her neighbors.
Her husband could also hear, and must have shocked Emrick when he unloaded on him for improperly entering the polling place and attempting to intimidate voters
The tough guy left when he realized that Becky had a male protector.
The elections office eventually determined that Emrick had no poll watcher's certificate. Even if he did, his attempt to suppress the vote is completely illegal. He was later admonished by the Solicitor's Office, although at least one of them is a campaign contributor.
Who is allowed and what is not inside the polling place? Members of the election board, people with watchers' certificates, constables, police (if called by the judge of elections), people waiting to vote, people who are assisting voters who might have an impediment, elections department employees on official business and voting machine technicians. Candidates are not allowed inside the polling place until the polls close.
Newspaper reporters may not enter a polling place, and the use of cameras and phones is prohibited, except for elections workers calling the elections office.
Anyone engaged in partisan political activity must stand at least ten (10) feet from the entrance of the polling place.