It’s The Law: No Campaigning At The Polls
Liking your candidate is okay.
Distributing campaign literature for your candidate, and wearing T-shirts and buttons for your candidate are okay, too.
But don't even think about bringing those messages to the polls Tuesday.
That's called electioneering and it's illegal, said Natrona County Clerk Renea Vitto, whose office conducts elections.
"We seem a little bossy and dictatorship, but that is the law in the polling places," Vitto said. "That's considered electioneering and they're not supposed to do that."
Electioneering is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine or both. Other election misdemeanors include disturbing a polling place, having liquor at the polls, accepting or spending money on behalf of a candidate, and employers interfering with the political rights of employees.
Wyoming law prohibits any form of campaigning within 100 yards of a polling place including displaying signs, distributing campaign literature, soliciting signatures for petitions, or the canvassing of voters except exit polling by news media.
During the Aug. 16 primary, Vitto said several candidates flouted the law.
A couple of candidates drove their vehicles with signs around the parking lot at the Fairgrounds, she said. A volunteer for another candidate parked her van with a sign at a parking lot of another polling place and just left it.
For the general election Tuesday, no one will be able -- per the 100-yard rule -- to have any vehicles or candidate volunteers on the Fairgrounds property at 1700 Fairgrounds Road. At Restoration Church, 411 S. Walsh Drive, the 100-yard rule means no one will be able to have vehicles or literature in the parking lot.
Some types of electioneering are difficult to enforce, Vitto said.
Not much can be done if a voter wears clothing with a party affiliation or a candidate's name, she said. But if there's a long line, a poll worker may ask that voter to go to a restroom and turn the clothing inside out or put on a jacket.
Electioneers are different from poll watchers, she added.
Poll watchers must be certified by their parties and are allowed at the polling places, but they are not allowed to talk to voters, Vitto said.
"All they're supposed to do is observe," she said. "They sit there. They can look at the poll books. They can look at the voter slips to see who has voted, and that's all they can do."