Pushing the limits

Campaigning at the polls
This has been an interesting election year for local campaigns — we’ve observed some similarities to past campaigns and seen several new twists on tricks learned by old dogs; not all of which were necessarily a “good thing”.

Historic City News covered a story early on about the “visual pollution” we suffer at the hands of candidates and their supporters who litter the highways by placing their self promotional signs in right of ways and private property without the owner’s permission.

This morning I was reminded of my special “pet peeve” — electioneering at the voting polls. Every two years it seems the candidates try to wolf pack the voting locations. I’ve always interpreted the effort as a desperate attempt to persuade those “undecided” voters that – somehow – they are the right candidate. Some are more aggressive than others and, after all, there are state election laws that establish how close campaigning can be conducted in proximity to a polling place.

Supervisor of Elections Penny Halyburton already had HER sign “NO CAMPAIGNING OR DISTRIBUTION OF LITERATURE BEYOND THIS POINT” prominently posted in the parking lot of her office (which is also an early voting location). Not one, but three “Ben Rich” signs and not one but three of his political shadow “Ken Bryan” signs were planted within inches of the legal limits, doing nothing more than cluttering the parking lot.

I’m reminded of a large scale campaign just four years ago where there were easily tens of thousands of dollars worth of yard and billboard signs strewn from one corner of the county to the other — placed by a candidate, his wife, his son and daughter and supporters that apparently were convinced that it improved his chances of being elected.

He lost the election that year and Penny has assured me that on Election Day this year, she will only count BALLOTS, not signs, when determining the winner.

Historic City News Staff Photo