Were these signs at the polling place kosher?

I was taken aback when I saw this sign taped up inside my voting “booth” on Saturday.

Is this official? Did they have them at your polling place? And if so, doesn’t it bother you a little?

On the one hand it’s sort of thoughtful — yes, these people are still on the ballot but no, they’re not still running. Sort of as a guide to the voters.

But on the other — do election officials have any business at all giving voters guidance on whom they should or should not vote for? No, it doesn’t say, “don’t vote for these people,” but the implication is there.

Yeah, I realize this is kinda how-many-angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin stuff, but still: Don’t I have a right to vote for anyone I want to, whether that person is a willing candidate or not? And should I be discouraged from doing so, however kindly or helpful the person who put up the sign meant to be?

My favorite part was Rick Perry being hastily added by hand. I mean, what was to stop the voter ahead of me from adding in red marker, “Mitt Romney?” (Hey, maybe somebody did. Maybe that explains the primary outcome.)

I’m curious what y’all think.

22 thoughts on “Were these signs at the polling place kosher?

  1. Mark Stewart

    Mine had Rick Perry in print.

    It’s tacky, and unbefitting of the election process. Taped to the voting boths was a bit in your face and with the appearance of bias; but a notice at the sign-in table would have seemed about right.

  2. Silence

    I doubt that there’s any law against them. Still, if you are ignorant enough to need those signs, I’d prefer that you throw your vote away on a candidate that isn’t in the race any longer, and not affect the outcome.

  3. Jesse S.

    “Don’t I have a right to vote for anyone I want to, whether that person is a willing candidate or not?”

    Kinda pointless when you can’t write-in a candidate.

    Anyway, my polling place had a sign on the door that said the same thing. Don’t think it even included the note about Perry.

  4. Juan Caruso

    Kosher in a primary because the noted ex-candidates should not have even been still on the ballots.

    If you check with voters in other precincts, Brad, you may find the noted were in fact not on everyone’s ballots. Lets turn your question around. What legitimate purpose (e.g. added confusion, inefficiency) could have been served by leaving the dropouts for everyone to wade through?

  5. Steven Davis

    Were these paper ballots? If they were electronic it should have taken someone about 2 minutes to update the system.

  6. DaveC

    As I noted in another exchange, I intended to (and DID) vote for Herman Cain (Colbert) as a message to the Republican Party about my discontent with ALL of the remaining candidates. If I’d seen such a note in my booth, I would have been very tempted to voice disapproval. If this is considered kosher, what is to block a sign saying “Ron Paul is a wacko and Rick Santorum is a sanctimonious twit”? Just because something is true or not doesn’t mean it has a place in a voting booth either way.

  7. SusanG

    I wish they had an official version of this at each polling place, but I think the ad-hoc version is a bad idea. No, there wasn’t one at my polling place — I looked.

  8. Juan Caruso

    Drop-out candidates were listed accurately for efficiency and avoidance of voter confusion, otherwise voting lines may have been unnecessarily longer, and voting errors encouraged by obfuscating the actual candidates, including Johnson and the other one.

    Ideally, the ballot would have only shown active candidates, and in some precincts that was exactly the case.

  9. bud

    It may be time to panic. Apparently Rasmussen has not been showing good numbers for Gingrich. And at least one other poll has him 8 points up on Romney. Here’s an excerpt from today’s column by Nate Silver in the NYT:

    “Rasmussen Reports polls, however — although they have sometimes shown a Republican “lean” in general elections — have not been particularly friendly to Mr. Gingrich in recent weeks. Instead, the firm’s previous poll of Florida — conducted just 11 days ago — had given Mr. Romney a 22-point lead there.”

  10. Phillip

    Has to be completely wrong, illegal. Either there are rules about the cutoff date for withdrawing in time to have your name removed from the ballot, or there are not. I wonder how prevalent this was.

  11. Norm Ivey

    That’s inside the booth? Totally inappropriate, I’d say. Poll workers cannot coach you on who to vote for orally, so I am certain they cannot coach you in writing.

  12. `Kathryn Fenner

    No signs @ the Senior Center.

    It would have been hard to deface such a sign unnoticed in my well-staffed polling place. The pollworker goes in right afterwards, and also sets you up ahead of time….

  13. bud

    Good heavens people this is about as benign as it gets. There was a similar sign where I voted and it didn’t even raise the tiniest bit of thought in my head that something was wrong. These people are not active candidates and that’s just what the sign said. Maybe folks hadn’t heard that and this gave them an opportunity to vote for someone else. Or if they still wanted to vote for one of these folks they still could.

    This is a perfectly good example of how people worry about all the wrong stuff. Sort of like folks driving to Los Angeles because they’re afraid of flying. You’d be 10 times more likely to die driving than flying. Same with the voting sign. It just could not have made a difference in the final vote.

  14. Lynn

    It wasn’t a real election, the liquor stores were open and you could buy a lottery ticket. Get over it and return to enjoying JT KIA and United Auto Sales commercials.

  15. `Kathryn Fenner

    AS far as cutoffs go, I have to wonder how hard it would be to have an up-to-the-minute ballot–not like there was a printing issue or a delivery issue…
    taking into account absentee voting, maybe?

  16. Scout

    The signs were at my polling place – Saluda River Elementary. I was undecided almost all the way up to the second I pushed the button. I went in seriously considering voting for Huntsman anyway, to make some kind of futile statement I guess, but the signs made me think that was discouraged. I don’t recall if Perry was there in print on the sign, but I don’t believe anybody was written in in pen. It was a typed sign that looked very much like this one. Everybody was still on the ballot, which was electronic.

  17. Herb Brasher

    Not inside the booth, if this is the same sign–and it looks like it–I’d say Brad votes at Saxe Gotha Pres, just like I do. The sign was in the entrance to the polling place.

    Maybe that’s why all those guys were camped out on the other side of the hallway–keeping watch over their sign by day.

    I was more annoyed by the CNN cameras aimed at me as I registered to vote. Can’t they keep the TV cameras outside the polling room? I mean, I don’t have anything against CNN–rather them than some others, but why are they taking film of people voting?

  18. Bryan Caskey

    I bet it was simply an overzealous pollworker, who didn’t realize that it might be out of bounds to put that up.

    No tomfoolery like that at Kilbourne Park Baptist like that. Sheriff DePass was on the job.

  19. Bart

    My wife cannot stand in line due to physical limitations so we voted early. All of the names were still on the ballot but we were aware of the ones no longer in the race. If the sign had been posted, for us, it wouldn’t have mattered one way or the other.

    A sign won’t pursuade me or dissuade me when it comes to voting. If I had wanted to cast a vote for Huntsman, I would have. In fact, it would have made it much easier than seeking a write-in ballot.

    This starting to become a trend and is frightening. Once again, I agree with bud. Much ado about nothing.

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