County clerk issues reminder - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

County clerk issues reminder

Electioneering not allowed at schools on election day

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Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - The Kootenai County Clerk's Office told school districts this week to guard against electioneering at next Tuesday's levy elections, a follow-up to concerns raised at the school bond election in August.

"Just to remind them what the statute says," Clerk Cliff Hayes said on Thursday about the email sent to Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls and Kootenai Joint school district officials.

The email spells out Idaho Code 18-2318. On an election day, no one can pass out information, solicit signatures, conduct electioneering, obstruct polling station entry or disrupt with voters' activities within 100 feet of a polling location.

"The Secretary of State has advised us that his interpretation of the 100-feet prohibition applies to the entire building, not just to the room or door into the room which is the polling place," states the email from Pat Raffee, chief deputy clerk. "Thank you for being diligent about, and removing if need be, any levy-related signs that may be on or within 100 feet of the school buildings."

The friendly reminder stems from a minor issue in the August election, Hayes said, when voters decided on a bond to renovate aging schools in the Coeur d'Alene School District.

After his office received a call of concern, Hayes visited a Coeur d'Alene elementary school and asked for bond-related materials there to be taken down, he said.

Documents with bond information were displayed at the office and on a door, he specified.

"I can't remember exactly what was on (the documents), but it was not a 'yes vote' or a 'no vote.' It was information about the levy," Hayes said. "I felt it was better to have it removed rather than leave it up."

Clerk's Office employees also called several other schools and asked for such materials to be removed, he added.

"(The information) could be construed by some people as implying to vote a certain way," Hayes explained of his concern. "Not all people."

The Coeur d'Alene School District works with PTA groups and school principals to ensure campaign materials aren't on school properties on election days, said spokeswoman Laura Rumpler.

"We always have a very welcoming and open policy with regard to voters coming in and using our schools as polling places," Rumpler said. "We've never had campaign materials or signs up in our schools."

The documents posted during the August election were simply informational materials for parents and patrons to learn about the issue, Rumpler said.

"We voluntarily took those down, because we didn't want to have any problems, or the perception of any problems, on election day," she said.

Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai Joint and Post Falls school districts each have a supplemental maintenance and operations levy on the ballot for the March 12 election.

Only residents within those districts can vote in the election.

Hayes noted that if schools refused to remove documents that he considered electioneering, he would have to ask the county prosecutor to determine if the materials violated state law.

"I don't have that authority," Hayes said of dubbing materials illegal. "I'm not a cop. I'm a clerk."

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5 comments:

  • MixMart posted at 11:04 am on Sun, Mar 10, 2013.

    MixMart Posts: 979

    concernedcitizen:

    Talk to state employee Judge Mitchell about strong arm tactics and then get back to me.

     
  • concernedcitizen posted at 10:39 am on Sat, Mar 9, 2013.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    MixMart

    So I guess you are in favor of the strong arm tactics used in the past eh?

     
  • bionic man posted at 3:47 pm on Fri, Mar 8, 2013.

    bionic man Posts: 347

    vox, as mr regan said, determination is not made by the votes of the registered voters, but other than by the people that show at the polls. In other words, we are all going to pay for another worthless levy. give you odds, the salaries will go up again after the levy passes.

    looked at district 271 payroll taxes........over 48 mil for just over 1300 employees for one year. and people wonder where our money goes......definately not to education.

     
  • MixMart posted at 9:08 am on Fri, Mar 8, 2013.

    MixMart Posts: 979

    Cliff Hayes has spoken! All hail the wise and wonderful Hayes the Magnificent!

     
  • voxpop posted at 4:51 am on Fri, Mar 8, 2013.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    This entire school district bond process is a farce. When the Cda city council can ram a $15M taxpayer giveaway to downtown businesses with no vote at all, why do we bother with a vote to improve the schools our own kids attend? Makes no sense ... unless of course you stop and think who actually runs the Cda city council.

     
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