Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Poll Glitch; Interference with the Working Press

This is a photo of the voting machines (three of them for the whole precinct) at Williamson Road 5 late this morning as I was waiting to vote. The guy in the center of the photo is repairing the third machine, which had been down for a while. I am not surprised at a glitch at this heavily-Democratic precinct.

When I took this photo and several others, one of the voting officers told me I could not take photos. I mentioned that I was a journalist and she left to consult with somebody. When she returned, she said I'd have to erase all the photos I took. I told her I would consider that when she produced an authority figure who had some clue about the First Amendment.

Voting in the world's leading democracy just gets more and more difficult as I get older. And it's sad.


  1. So glad to see you were not arrested. If you had been, I'd have put out the little jars with your photos on them and collected your bail money. I think the citizens of America would have come to your rescue in a heartbeat.

  2. Hummm...I see I'm not the only one.

    Is there an actual rule that states, no picture taking? I cannot find one.

    Today, at our precinct, my husband I were in the long line, I asked one of the voting officers if I could take a picture and she said "yes". I was going to post it to show the good turn out.

    When I snapped the picture, another officer came over yelling out at me, "no taking pictures allowed". He kept repeating "No pictures", in a loud voice. Everyone turned to look at us. Geeze...I felt like three years old. But, thinking back, now as I write this... it was comical... He did sound a little like Gomer in, "Citizens arrrrrest".

    I told him the officer gave me permission and I pointed over to her. He then turned to her and said in a loud voice "NO PICTURES ALLOWED". Poor lady, she looked shamed, also.

    I cannot find any where on-line regarding a rule, it might be there but I have not found it.

  3. Pat: That's because there is no rule and if there were, it would be unconstitutional, illegal, immoral and screaming for me to break it. You are in a public place at a public event and you can take all the photos you want. These little tin-pot bullies who are given some kind of responsibility at places like polls have no business being let out of their houses. This is about power--or at least perceived power--and they are full of shit. Sick people who need counseling. Remember one thing: the press has no rights that you don't have. Not a one.

  4. Actually there is a rule, and the rule specifically says it is PERMITTED, as long as the photograph doesn't reveal how a person voted.

    From 24.2-604

    J. The officers of election shall permit representatives of the news media to visit and film or photograph inside the polling place for a reasonable and limited period of time while the polls are open. However, the media (i) shall comply with the restrictions in subsections A and D; (ii) shall not film or photograph any person who specifically asks the media representative at that time that he not be filmed or photographed; (iii) shall not film or photograph the voter or the ballot in such a way that divulges how any individual voter is voting; and (iv) shall not film or photograph the voter list or any other voter record or material at the precinct in such a way that it divulges the name or other information concerning any individual voter. Any interviews with voters, candidates or other persons, live broadcasts, or taping of reporters' remarks, shall be conducted outside of the polling place and the prohibited area. The officers of election may require any person who is found by a majority of the officers present to be in violation of this subsection to leave the polling place and the prohibited area.