After 2011 Incident, Patch Reminds Voters of Polling Place Etiquette

Following an argument between an election judge and a voter last year, voters should be aware of the rules at their respective voting precincts.

After resident Ellen Ruiters and an unnamed election judge argued over the proposed Richfield referendum at a local precinct on Election Day 2011, Richfield Patch thought voters could use a little reminder for what can and can't be done at the polls come Nov. 6.

One major thing to remember is that displaying campaign materials is a big no-no. According to the Minnesota Secretary of State website, Minnesota law prohibits the displaying of campaign materials at or near all polling locations. Voters are strongly encouraged to remove any campaign buttons, t-shirts or other accessory before arriving at the polls. Election judges are instructed to tell all voters displaying campaign material to conceal or remove it, which may mean taking off a button, zipping up a coat and keeping it zipped, or going into the bathroom to turn a t-shirt inside out.

Read: 'Arugment' Between Voter and Election Judge Breaks Out At Richfield Precinct

While voters are expected to follow this rule, election judges are as well. All election judges are required by state law to receive training every two years on conduct and protocol. Following last year's incident, Richfield City Clerk Nancy Gibbs said Richfield trains its judges every year.

"At our training, we emphatically tell election judges that they are not allowed to wear buttons or clothing regarding anything to do with candidates or their personal opinions on any person or questions on the ballot," Gibbs said in a statement last year. "[Further], they are instructed not to indulge in personal chatter regarding any candidate or question on the ballot with each other or voters."

See more information on "Protecting Election Integrity."

Commonly Asked Questions

The following information was taken directly from the Minnesota Secretary of State website:

Q: Can I bring my child with me when I vote on Election Day?

A: Yes. A voter may bring their children with them to a polling place and the children may go with the parent into the voting booth.

Q: May I bring a sample ballot from my political party or the newspaper into my polling place?

A: Yes. Voters may bring a sample ballot from a newspaper or campaign flyer into the voting booth, as long as they take great care to conceal the material from other voters while outside the voting booth and take it with them when they leave.

For more information on candidates, proposed amendments, the schools referendum and so on, see Richfield Patch's Election Guide.

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Holly Rhodes November 01, 2012 at 01:49 PM
The answer to the question about bringing children is incorrect. The actual answer from the SOS website is: Yes. A voter may bring their children with them to a polling place and the children may go with the parent into the voting booth.
Caitlin Burgess November 01, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Oops! I got two of the same! Thanks for the catch! Fixed.
Juniper November 01, 2012 at 03:10 PM
At the primary, we voted it was in a church education building. They ushered us into a bible study room with biblical verses. We complained to the SOS saying as this year considering the amendments polling places should be neutral. I hope all these things are removed on election day. I still can't believe people have to vote in places which are not neutral.
Caitlin Burgess November 01, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Huh. I never thought about that. Good point.
Barry November 01, 2012 at 06:44 PM
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