Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The 150 foot rule

The Call Center received a complaint that a campaign worker was positioned too close to a polling precinct in Raymond.  The individual was found to be outside the 150 foot prescribed perimeter, although he was visible from the precinct.  The statute is clear that no campaign literature can be distributed or displayed within 150 feet of the precinct door.  In the case of a courthouse, which has precincts housed within it, the measure is taken from the courthouse door. 

Triumph Church precinct plagued with power outage

The Triumph Church precinct on Flagg Chapel Road in Jackson was out of power for a good portion of the day.  Voters were voting on paper ballots.

UPDATE: 455 calls logged

The Protect the Vote call center has logged 211 calls from voters around the state, ranging from needing information on where to vote, to requests for Voter I D, lost voter registrations, and politicking too close to the polls.  Of that number, 34 are still to be resolved.  Lost registrations appear to be trending in redistricted areas where voters may not have received timely notice of voting place changes.  While these individuals are being offered affidavit ballots at their usual polling places, that effort may not result in the individual's vote being counted if they've been moved. 

Update:  3:03 p.m.

The Protect the Vote call center has logged 279 calls.  Of that number, 21 are still to be resolved.

Update: 4:11 p.m.

The Protect the Vote call center has logged 324 calls.  Of that number, 30 are still to be resolved.

Update: 6:24 p.m.

The Protect the Vote call center has logged 432 calls.  Of that number, 54 are still to be resolved.

Many of today's calls have been from individuals whose names did not appear on voter rolls.  Some of these had been moved due to redistricting.  Others were inexplicable.

Update:  7:11 p.m.

The Protect the Vote call center has logged 455 calls.  Of that number, 30 are still to be resolved.

There are a number of calls that are still being logged into the datasystem that are not reflected in this number. 

UPDATE: Voter roll purging surprises some voters

The voter roll purging efforts around the state have resulted in some people finding themselves off their local voting rolls.  Many of the complaints filed to the Call Center are from voters who did not respond to jury duty and were purged.  Here is a call log from Attala County:

 Name was not on the voter roll because she didn't respond to a jury summons. She said that she never received it and this happened to about 7-8 other people. They let them vote by affidavit but was told that it probably wouldn't be counted.

UPDATE: Here is a call log from Hinds County Precinct #6 logged at 2:54 p.m.

Several people have been purged from the voter roll. THese are people who have been living there, voting and registered for years. As of 3 P.M. 27 people have been purged that should have been listed. Worker thinks that this scenario is weird and there may be something wrong. No explanation why so many regular voters should have been purged from the list.

No registration cards at issue for 300 in Scott County

Mississippi Immigrant Race Alliance (MIRA) reports that over 300 Scott Countians the group helped register to vote during the proper registration period did not receive their registration cards with  designated polling places.  MIRA is calling these individuals to help them determine where they should be registered to vote.  The group expects an upsurge in this confusion after shift work closes at 3:00 p.m.

UPDATE: Police presence at polling places should be minimal

UPDATE:  5:39 p.m.  Police presence in and around polling places is viewed as potentially intimidating to voters.  Federal law addresses this issue. Numerous complaints of patrol cars with flashing lights situated outside polling places have been called and texted in to the Call Center.  Traffic control may occasionally warrant police presence; however, it is the position of most voting experts that such "traffic control" exceptions occur only during peak driving times and therefore should not be conducted throughout the day.  Voters who are greeted by flashing blue lights can experience intimidation.  We are urging law enforcement officials to discontinue unnecessary display of police presence in the polling place vicinities.

Update: 5:39 p.m. We have received a report from the Coast that there are seven police officers and cruisers at the Don Snyder precinct who have been advised that their presence is intimidating.  They disbursed, and the caller reports one patrolman is still on site.

Precinct changes pose problems

Precinct changes without proper voter notification are continuing to be reported to the call center.  Here is an example of a call log taken from Quitman County:

Apparently, the precincts have been changed without notice to voters. It seems many voters are registered at dual precincts, and they are not being allowed to vote even when their names appear on the rolls. Instead they are being told that they need to go to the precinct in Marks to vote.