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Each state has laws governing “electioneering” or the types of voter persuasion activities allowed at or near polling places.

The Facts

All states impose some form of restriction on political activities and the display of political materials in and around polling places when voting is taking place. While the exact nature of these restrictions varies from state to state, most of these “electioneering” laws limit the display of signs, distribution of campaign literature, and the solicitation of votes within a defined proximity of polling places. Beyond this perimeter, restrictions on these activities do not apply, and it is not uncommon to see campaign volunteers and signage.

Deceptive images of partisan signage outside a Philadelphia polling place shared on Twitter falsely alleged that the state’s electioneering laws had been violated. Pennsylvania law prohibits campaign signs, banners, and other promotional materials from being displayed or distributed within 10 feet of polling places. In this case, the sign in question was investigated by the Philadelphia Election Task Force and found to be outside the proscribed perimeter of the polling place. 

Voters should be on guard against deceptive images and alleged violations of state electioneering laws designed to provoke suspicions of foul play. For a list of each state’s restrictions on political activities at polling places, refer to this list compiled by the National Conference on State Legislatures.

Last updated Tuesday, November 3, 2020 7:44 PM EST

Trusted Sources

State Laws Prohibiting Electioneering Activities Within a Certain Distance of the Polling Place - National Association of Secretaries of State →

Electioneering Prohibitions - NCSL →