Monday, November 22, 2021

NorCo Elections Comm'n Meets at 3 PM Today

Northampton County's Elections Comm'n will meet at 3 pm today in the Council Chambers at the Courthouse. The meeting will be broadcast on the county's webpage. The Elections Comm'n will be asked to certify the returns of the November 2 election. It will vote on the need for 24-hour drop boxes. There also will be discussion on recommending action by County Council on the removal of political signs from polling locations. 

I'm unclear on precisely what is meant by recommending anything to County Council regarding political signage removal. 

First, while the Council controls the county's purse strings and should make all decisions concerning expenditures, it has no say concerning the actual conduct of an election. This is clear from both the Home Rule Charter and the Elections Code.  So this decision is entirely within the province of the Elections Comm'n, unless an expenditure of public funds is required. 

Second, political signage and any sort of active campaigning is barred inside the polling location. They are also prohibited for a 10' distance from the voting center. Any attempt to ban them absolutely would run afoul of the First Amendment. 

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agree with you that political signs are protected by the 1st amendment. Someone challenged the size of signs in one town as exceeding the zoning ordinance limit for *political* signs, but a Supreme Court ruling prohibits a size restriction. However, would the owner of the property where a polling location is not have to approve of the posting of signs by candidates, if it is private property?

Anonymous said...

When I go to the Polls to vote, the campaign workers are not ten feet away from the doors to the voting place. They are handing you cards as you go in the door and asking you to vote for their candidates. Sometimes there are so many poll workers it seems like you are being mugged. To complain to the people conducting the elections is like talking to a wall.

Anonymous said...

Elections in this country are a shame.

Anonymous said...

Probably best to stop the drop boxes. They undermine trust in elections and cannot be policed for accuracy.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Who should be responsible for the political signs still displayed around the Valley?

Bernie O'Hare said...

12:07, I would imagine that if I polling place is private property leased to the county, the owner might object to political signs outside the polling place but on his property. But any lease to the county for a polling place creates a very strong implication that the lease includes the placement of political signs.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"When I go to the Polls to vote, the campaign workers are not ten feet away from the doors to the voting place. They are handing you cards as you go in the door and asking you to vote for their candidates."

It can seem like you're running a gauntlet, lol. My suggestion is that you inform the elections judge at your precinct. The law says 10 feet from the polling place. If it was raining and cold, I did allow these campaigners to stand under a covered porch right at the doorway. That is about 3 feet from the actual doorway to the polling place and could be construed as a violation. No one complained. I allowed it bc I did not want these folks getting soaked. But I generally would adhere to the 10' rule in the statute, although no one abused it. I would not allow signs within 10', except for a sign designating the polling place.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Who should be responsible for the political signs still displayed around the Valley?"

I'm not Bill White and am not as annoyed by them as he was back when the papers actually covered local news.

If you consider a sign an eyesore, and the candidate has forgotten about it, what you could do is pull the sign yourself and call the local Dem or GOP party and ask them to send someone to get it from you. Believe me, those signs cost $, and a candidate would want it for his or her next election.

Anonymous said...

10' should be made 25' or more. I can't stand the gauntlet. I've told badgerers that the best way to not get my vote is to come near me.

Anonymous said...

For those complaining about the campaign workers handing out flyers at the polls, tell them you already know who you are voting for and walk right by. That drives some of them nuts. It works.

Anonymous said...

I do not like the signs but I can put up with them.

The people though are a completely different matter. I think they should be limited to within 500 feet of a polling place. Especially with the changes in views on a number of fronts, I have watched in line poll workers pressure people in the lines. It is a quiet pressure but still a pressure. They should not be allowed. And handing out things at the polling places is nothing more then placid bribery. IF on the way out the door people want to hand out I voted for >>> pins or stickers or whatever but on the way in I feel it it is wrong.

Here is a link to a dated set of polling prohibitors. A very interesting read. Sorry I could not find a more recent addition although I know there have been changes.

https://www.dos.pa.gov/VotingElections/OtherServicesEvents/Documents/DOS%20GUIDANCE%20ON%20RULES%20IN%20EFFECT%20AT%20THE%20POLLING%20PLACE%20ON%20ELECTION%20DAY%2010-16.pdf



Carl said...

I used a drop box located inside South Whitehall Municipal building for Lehigh County. Had to get buzzed in. Next day confirmation it had been received by elections.

Anonymous said...

Snowflake ❄