Did Kamala Illegally Campaign At A Polling Place?
On Saturday night, Kamala Harris’s Twitter account posted video of the vice-presidential nominee outside of the Cuyahoga County election office in Cleveland, where voters were waiting in line to cast their ballots early.
“Thank you for voting and voting early. Your vote is your voice, your voice is your vote. There is so much at stake. Don’t let anyone ever take your power. The power of your voice is so important. You are going to make the difference,” she began, using a microphone. “You are going to make the decision about your future, about your family’s future. It is through the voice of your vote. And you have the power. The power is with the people, and you know that. That’s why you’re standing in this line today. and I just came to say thank you.”
We the people have the power at the ballot box. Thanks for a great day Ohio! pic.twitter.com/wWsSwTuD8n
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 25, 2020
Here is another video:
— Seth A. Richardson (@SethARichardson) October 24, 2020
Many users on Twitter were questioning whether Kamala Harris was campaigning illegally at a polling place. It’s a valid question. Most people know you can’t even wear a button promoting your candidate when you’re attempting to vote. So how can the candidate addressing voters waiting in line be legal?
Well, let’s see what the law says.
3501.35 No loitering or congregating near polling places.
(A) During an election and the counting of the ballots, no person shall do any of the following:
(1) Loiter, congregate, or engage in any kind of election campaigning within the area between the polling place and the small flags of the United States placed on the thoroughfares and walkways leading to the polling place, and if the line of electors waiting to vote extends beyond those small flags, within ten feet of any elector in that line;
(2) In any manner hinder or delay an elector in reaching or leaving the place fixed for casting the elector’s ballot;
(3) Give, tender, or exhibit any ballot or ticket to any person other than the elector’s own ballot to the precinct election officials within the area between the polling place and the small flags of the United States placed on the thoroughfares and walkways leading to the polling place, and if the line of electors waiting to vote extends beyond those small flags, within ten feet of any elector in that line;
(4) Exhibit any ticket or ballot which the elector intends to cast;
(5) Solicit or in any manner attempt to influence any elector in casting the elector’s vote.
When you compare the video with a Google street view of the building, it appears that Kamala Harris is more than 100 feet away from the entrance of the building. She is clearly more than ten feet away from any voter waiting in line. While addressing voters waiting in line to vote seems to, at the very least, violate the intention of the law, technically speaking, she appears to have followed the law as it is written in this case.
Author: Matt Margolis