Does your state have a voter guide that explains so clearly what actions constitute a voting crime?

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California’s Voter Guide (2022) – An example of a blue state that takes voting offenses (…both illegal voting and illegal voter suppression) very seriously.

Having lived outside of California for just one election cycle after my 18th birthday, I know very little about voting in other states. On the other hand, I am quite familiar with the voting processes in California.

This is the first time I remember seeing a bulleted list electoral crimes (and how to avoid them) published in the Voter’s Guide. Kudos to the California Secretary of State (Shirley Weber, PhD) for adding this information so all voters can see how serious we are here about illegal voting practices!

In contrast, see this article in The Guardian about how Georgian voters face nasty hurdles when voting early in that state. Here is an excerpt (slightly edited for brevity) from the article:

Jennifer Jones, a PhD student, showed up at her Fulton County compound on Day 2 of early voting. She was thrilled to vote for Stacey Abrams and Senator Raphael Warnock. However, when she arrived at the registration station, she was informed that she would not be able to vote regularly because her validity as a voter was disputed. …

Under the state’s new Election Integrity Law, Georgia citizens can challenge a voter’s eligibility an unlimited number of times. Right-wing groups have mounted thousands of organized protests across the state, pressuring election officials.

In most cases, voters like Jones don’t know why their status is being challenged. …

Elections and voter protection organizations across Georgia are preparing for times like this, working to educate voters on what to do if they run into trouble while voting.

Perhaps DK contributors reading this could explore if your state’s election guide has a similar list – and if not, you might want to submit a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. (or other electronic/social media opinion websites) that compares California’s approach to their states’ approach (…and indirectly shames your secretary of state to better match clarity, transparency and California completeness)!

Californians mean business when it comes to protecting themselves against election crime. Criminals (red and blue voters) will be prosecuted!

Here is a list of everything the bullet points above so you can copy/paste as many bullet points as you want to give as examples in your opinion piece:

  • Attention: electoral campaigns prohibited! Violations may result in fines and/or imprisonment.
  • Where: In the immediate vicinity of a person waiting in line to vote or within 100 feet of the entrance to a polling place, curbside vote or drop box. The following activities are prohibited:
    • Do not ask a person to vote for or against a candidate or election measure.
    • Do not display a candidate’s name, image or logo.
    • Do not block access to ballot boxes or loiter near them.
    • Do not provide any material or sound information for or against a candidate or ballot measure near a polling place, voting center or ballot box.
    • Do not circulate any petitions, including for initiatives, referendums, recalls or nominations of candidates.
    • Do not distribute, display or wear clothing (hats, shirts, signs, badges, stickers) bearing the name, image, logo of a candidate and/or supporting or opposing a candidate or an electoral measure .
    • Do not post information or talk to a voter about their eligibility to vote.
    • The electoral prohibitions summarized above are set forth in Section 7 of Chapter 4 of Division 18 of the California Election Code.
  • Warning: Corrupting the voting process is prohibited! Violations subject to fines and/or imprisonment.
  • What activities are prohibited:
    • Do not commit or attempt to commit electoral fraud.
    • Do not provide any kind of compensation or bribe to, in any way or by any means, induce or attempt to induce any person to vote or abstain from voting.
    • Do not vote illegally.
    • Do not attempt to vote or help someone else vote if you are not eligible to vote.
    • Do not engage in the electoral campaign; photographing or recording a voter entering or leaving a polling station, or obstructing the entrance or parking lot.
    • Do not challenge a person’s right to vote or prevent voters from voting; delay the voting process; or fraudulently advise a person that he or she is not entitled to vote or is not registered to vote.
    • Do not try to find out how a voter cast their ballot.
    • Not possess or cause anyone to possess a firearm in the immediate vicinity of a polling place, with some exceptions.
    • Do not show up or have someone appear wearing the uniform of a peace officer, guard or security personnel in the immediate vicinity of a polling place, with some exceptions close.
    • Not tamper with or interfere with any component of a voting system.
    • Do not falsify, forge or falsify the results of an election.
    • Do not alter the results of an election.
    • Do not alter, destroy or modify any list of electors, official ballot or ballot container.
    • Do not display any unofficial ballot collection container that might lead a voter to believe it is an official ballot collection box.
    • Not to tamper with or interfere with the copying of the results of votes cast.
    • Do not coerce or deceive a person who cannot read or an elder to vote for or against a candidate or an action contrary to their intention.
    • Do not act as an election official when you are not.
    • Employers cannot require or require their employee to bring their absentee ballot to work or ask their employee to vote on their ballot at work. When paying wages or salaries, employers cannot attach documents that attempt to influence the political views or actions of their employee.
    • Precinct council members cannot attempt to determine how a voter cast their ballot or, if that information is discovered, disclose how a voter cast their ballot.
    • The activation prohibitions related to corruption of the voting process summarized above are set forth in Chapter 6 of Division 18 of the California Election Code.
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