Are There Michigan Laws To Protect Voters From Threats At The Polls?
A lot of questions arise from what appears to be a volatile political season. Even the recent presidential debates aren't free from rude interruptions, force fed accusations and even name calling. So are we safe from groups with agendas who would become poll watchers to congregate and threaten our sanity with their rhetoric before we take to voting at the polling stations across our area come Nov 3rd?
Here's A few things you should know about Poll Watchers
Poll watchers take a two hour training seminar and are primarily on the premises to make sure that voting rules are being followed.
Poll Watchers cannot work in their own precinct.
Poll Watchers must stand in designated public areas, must not talk to voters, are not allowed to touch election equipment, can’t record, wear or display any political items/clothing.
Poll Watchers cannot be disruptive in any way or manner and if you are disruptive, inspectors are allowed to ask you to leave and to call the cops if necessary.
Poll Watchers may use a smart phone, tablet, laptop, or other electronic device in polling place or clerk’s office as long as they are not being disrupive.
Here are a few things you should know about Challengers
A challenger is prohibited from threatening or intimidating voters entering the polling place, applying to vote, entering a voting station, voting, or leaving the polling place.
Challengers must have challenger credentials and have in his or her possession a challenger identification card issued by the political party, organization, or group that he or she represents. If someone shows up without challenger credentials, then they are a poll watcher. If they do not comply with the requirements of a poll watcher, they will be asked to leave. If they do not, law enforcement will be called.
Challenges must not be made indiscriminately or without good cause.
Challengers cannot campaign, distribute literature wear campaign apparel or display any campaign material in the polls or within 100 feet of any doorway used by voters to enter the building where the polling place is located.
A challenger is prohibited from wearing a button, armband, vest, shirt, hat or similar item which identifies the organization he or she represents.
Challengers are not authorized to approach voters or talk directly to voters for any reason.
Of course no campaigning (of any kind) is allowed within 100 feet of the polling places.
For a more detailed look at the rights and duties of election challengers and Poll watchers please click here.