KPCC News In Brief

What 'electioneering' means, and why you can't wear political clothing to vote

Voters often bring their children with them when they cast a ballot. One early voter even brought the ashes of his deceased African-American parents with him to the polling station.

But KPCC’s Special Correspondent Kitty Felde has this reminder: don’t bring anything that advertises your political preference.

Kitty Felde: You’ve probably seen the signs outside your polling booth: “no electioneering within 100 feet.” But what exactly does that mean? Laurie Dunlap, who trains pollworkers for L.A. County, says it includes t-shirts, hats, and campaign buttons.

Laurie Dunlap: Electioneering is any type of advertisement or advocacy, handing out fliers, putting a sign in a car, trying to talk to voters. Because we want voters to be able to enter our polling place free of intimidation, we don’t want them to see people at the door doing that and feel uncomfortable about entering the polling place, and that is why it’s not allowed. But it simply means promoting your candidate, your proposition, whatever it is you’re promoting that election.

Felde: Dunlap says if you forget, you’ll be asked to remove your button or hat or asked to turn your t-shirt inside out. But you’ll still be allowed to vote.

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January 2009

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