Is It Legal To Campaign At The Polls?

Campaigning At The Polls: Is It Legal?

GUILFORD CO., NC -- The answer to that question... yes and no. Can electioneers and candidates campaign at voting locations? Yes. Can they campaign anywhere at the location? No.

In North Carolina the law states that no campaigning or distribution of materials can happen within 50 feet of a polling place. That rule applies to all candidates- local, state and even presidential.

"The point is to offer the candidates their ability to campaign and their ability to have free speech and get people to vote for them but then give the voters this clear area to be free of that at least for a few steps before they get inside the building," Charlie Collicutt, Guilford Count Board of Elections Director said.

If you've been by a voting location you've probably seen people forming a line in front of the door. They have to be behind that 50 foot mark.

"Every once in a while someone infringes a little bit or maybe follows someone to the door," Collicutt said. "That’s not supposed to happen. It periodically does. We need to know about it."

It's a rule Brian Drake makes sure he follows. Drake's been at the Old Guilford County Courthouse campaigning for his list of candidates for eight days now.

Someone walks up and I always ask, ‘are you here to vote?’ and ‘would you like some information on democratic candidates?’" Drake said.

He's one of many from all political parties making one last attempt to gain a voter's ballot.

"We try to make it fair for everyone," he said. "We want to influence the voter but not badger them."

Election Day is on November 8th. The last day to vote early is November 5th.

Copyright 2016 WFMY


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