Is posting signs advocating a particular candiate or position in an election electioneering?  Texas has specific laws against this activity within 100 feet of a polling place on election day.  The election judges are required to post signs at the 100-ft mark to denote the exclusion zone.

I’m curious about this, since the polling place I went to on Saturday for the bond election was at the Bear Creek Intermediate School(*).  There was a Suburban in the parking lot, within the exclusion zone, that had three very large “Yes” posters on the windshield.  It was obvious that the vehicle was parked there with the intent to display the “Yes” posters to all voters entering the polling place (it was not driveable with the signs).

Given what I’ve been read in the Texas Election Code, I think this is illegal.  I suppose it wouldn’t make a difference to the outcome, but it bugs me because even if I’m not correctly reading the code, it seems improper to bring political signs into the exclusion area.  On further thought, I think the owner of the Suburban was hanging around the area (or at least I got the distinct impression that it was his vehicle), which would seem to violate the loitering provision of the above statute.

(*) It also occurs to me that it seems vaguely improper to hold a school bond election in a school cafeteria.


  1. Roger Ritter says:

    I’m pretty sure putting those signs up counts as electioneering under Texas law.  I don’t think any political materials at all are permitted within the designated distance.  I suppose it’s kind of late now, but it may still be worth a complaint to the local elections board.

  2. Bitter says:

    I’ve often wondered about that kind of stuff, too.  I had a bumper sticker for my state senator on my car last year.  However, since I was still on crutches and wearing special shoes for my injured feet, I couldn’t park far away from the school entrance.  I saw other cars with bumper stickers for candidates, so I took the chance.  I just have to wonder where the line is really drawn.

  3. I don’t think bumper stickers are a problem.  They’re so ubiquitous that banning them would mean no one could park anywhere near the polling place.

    The Texas law is intended to prevent attempts to accost voters as they enter a polling place and to try to keep the entry area as neutral as possible.