The Corner

Elections

Before You Make an Accusation of Lawbreaking, Check Your State’s Laws

Already we’ve got accusations of lawbreaking at polling places. Before you toss an accusation, check your state’s laws — they’re online and just a web search away. Pennsylvania law bars electioneering or campaign materials inside polling places: “No person, when within the polling place, shall electioneer or solicit votes for any political party, political body or candidate, nor shall any written or printed matter be posted up within the said room, except as required by this act.”

In guidance issued before the 2016 election, the Pennsylvania Department of State declared, “Any other person or voter not in the process of voting, campaign workers, signs and all other electioneering material must be located at least 10 feet away from the entrance to the room where voting occurs.” A Biden sign in front of the bushes by a polling place does not represent a violation of state law, unless it is within ten feet.

This picture, of a public school in Philadelphia, appears to depict a violation of state law, with poster listing the Democratic candidates on the wall right next to the entrance door.