COMPLAINT: Electioneering eyesore
Dear Mr. Brannon,
This is an official complaint related to the electioneering that was observed by me and others in the community on May 18. I observed that there was a partisan poll watcher at Fire Station 3 handing out Republican sample ballots during the entire day. I measured the distance from the door to the spot where the partisan individual was engaged in handing out “Republican Sample Ballots” and it is 110 feet. It meets the letter of the law.
Yet there is a more important factor to be considered. One that represents a nonpartisan stance for all polling stations in Kootenai Co. That factor is the reality that any representative of any party presenting themselves at a polling station with any sign, presence, or otherwise, encouraging a specific response toward a voter is the problem.
All election staff and managers deserve credit for having to accept partisan representatives in the vicinity of a polling location. Dealing with electioneering is an ongoing problem considering it is primarily being projected by a singular political party at this time. Whether overt, or covert, their presence at polling locations during elections is disruptive for our community.
This incident is not an isolated one in Kootenai County. This ongoing incursion by partisan representatives within view of voters is an infringement of their right to freely participate in their constitutional right to vote without visual coercion or any other type, at any time during election day.
RALPH D. SHAY