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Monday, July 28, 2014

Election day guidelines set

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

(Photo)
Nancy Nickell of Sikeston votes an absentee ballot at the Scott County Clerk's office Tuesday
(Photo by Scott Welton, Staff)
BENTON - Scott County election officials are hoping to spread the word: electioneering and solicitation are banned around polls on election day.

Rita Milam, Scott County clerk said electioneering, which is actively working for a candidate, political party or issue, has not been a problem in Scott County and she doesn't foresee it becoming one.

"It's always been in the rules," Milam said. "With so many people running we just wanted to refresh everybody's memory."

In a letter to sent July 22 to all candidates in the county, Milam advises them to "Please follow the laws and ask the people helping you do to the same. Don't put the election judges in an awkward position to have to ask you to leave your polling place."

Milam advised that according to state statutes, on election day it is a class-four election offense to electioneer, distribute election material, post signs or place vehicles bearing signs with respect to any candidate or issue to be voted on inside the building in which a polling place is located or within 25 feet of the building's outer door closest to the polling place.

Those who engage in electioneering or refuse to follow the regulations listed above must be asked to leave.

The law is also very specific about who is allowed in the polling place during election hours, according to Milam. These people include, in addition to voters, election judges and election authority personnel: caretakers or assistants of voters who are illiterate, disabled or elderly; a person under the care of a voter such as a child under age 18 or an elderly person; law enforcement officers with permission from the clerk; people helping with "Kids Voting" participants; media representatives for bona fide news coverage; election observers appointed by the election authority; and challengers with appropriate credentials from the election authority.

Candidates may only enter a polling place to vote and may not wear or distribute any materials promoting themselves.

Milam advised those who enter with political or campaign materials such as a hat or T-shirt will be asked to leave and return when they have removed the item.