Friday, February 01, 2008

Election Reminders for California Vloggers and Bloggers

I hear there is a little whoop-ti-doo next Tuesday. Something about a primary election. Now I know folks are itching to record the start of a truly historical presidential campaign (like the last two didn't mean anything?).

I know photobloggers and video bloggers are going to cover this seven different ways from Sunday but I gotta remind the California folks of the Election Code 18540-18548 specifically section 18541c which states:

18541.  (a) No person shall, with the intent of dissuading another
person from voting, within 100 feet of a polling place, do any of the
(1) Solicit a vote or speak to a voter on the subject of marking
his or her ballot.
(2) Place a sign relating to voters' qualifications or speak to a
voter on the subject of his or her qualifications except as provided
in Section 14240.
(3) Photograph, videotape, or otherwise record a voter entering or
exiting a polling place.
(b) Any violation of this section is punishable by imprisonment in
a county jail for not more than 12 months, or in the state prison.
Any person who conspires to violate this section is guilty of a
(c) For purposes of this section, 100 feet means a distance of 100
feet from the room or rooms in which voters are signing the roster
and casting ballots.
Now, lets get real. TV News crews will be taking photos and video recordings of people and polling places. You will see this on television and in your daily paper.

There will be folks from community newspapers and school newspapers snapping photos in polling places. Don't get me started on the cell phone and mobloggers contingency.

Depending on the polling place, the time of day, how busy it is and how attentive the poll workers are you may or may not have a problem. Here is what I have found to work:
  1. Be polite.
  2. Ask the person in charge of the polling place if it is ok to take a few photos. If they say yes, score. If they ask is this for a newspaper or report you can say "Yes, I'm writing/shooting photos about the election". The "Blog" word is scary to some and you don't want to scare anyone on Super Tuesday. Am I telling you to lie. No. Tell 'em your a blogger/vlogger if you want. But it might go easier if you flow with the writers/photos on this one day
  3. Be respectful and don't disrupt the election process. You can and will be arrested if you delay or inhibit other folks ability to vote. The poll workers get to decide if you are disrupting the process. They have that power. Don't provoke them into using it.
  4. If they say no then thank them for the answer and move on.
  5. No kidding, be really polite even if the poll worker is acting like a power prince/princess.
  6. If you are taking photos of voters (more than 100 feet way from the polling place mind you) you need to obtain their permission. Make it written permission. Have your photo/video release ready. Seriously.
It is not impossible. You can get great shots/stories on Tuesday. There will be people dying to talk about voting either for an old guy, a Mormon, An African-American or a Former First Lady.

Who am I voting for? Dang if I know.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like your ready to go for Super Tuesday!