Deputy At Polling Place

Submitted by WhitesCreek on November 6, 2012 - 3:06pm.

It was just pointed out to me that it is illegal to have a deputy at a polling place, and even though the Roane County Courthouse is closed today, there is a Sheriff's Deputy still standing by the voting machines.

This is a little too obvious, don't you think?


Nothing Has Changed

The DAG, General Johnson, pointed this out to them in a letter as a technical violation.

That said, the courthouse is "open" any time the public is allowed in, even if it is "closed" in the sense of other courthouse offices not doing business. This happens when there are other meetings in there and the public is allowed access to the courthouse and the offices are not doing business. When the courthouse is open, security is there. It has nothing to do with what offices are open, etc. And the Sheriff has statutory and constitutional jurisdiction about that.

Should the Election Commission and folks change where they have elections, so they won't have to use the courthouse? Sure. Is there anything sinister going on with the Sheriff being consistent about his policy for courthouse security? Not hardly. The onus is on the Election Commission to find other locations for elections, not on the Sheriff to leave something for which he is legally responsible unprotected.

RB

Thanks

All I have to do is say "ditto"

WhitesCreek's picture
A technical violation is a

A technical violation is a violation. It could have easily been avoided. Why allow this continue. Do it right or resign.

I dunno...

They've already given a statement (published behind the paywall) in RCN as to why they made the decision to continue for this election to have it at the courthouse. I don't have it at hand, but it sounded like they were planning on moving it in the future, but not for this election. If I mis-remember that, ccorrect me. I agree that it should be moved to avoid the violation. I doubt that the DAG and the Sheriff will ever get in a pissing contest over enforcing that issue, simply because of the Sheriff's responsibility with regard to the courthouse.

RB

onetahiti's picture
Any statement behind a paywall is not much of a statement.

Just saying. :)

(Hi, RB! I hope you don't mind me piggybacking off your post.)

-- OneTahiti

Hi, OneT!

Nope - I don't mind at all!

I'll have to look it up since I do have an electronic subscription. I just couldn't do it at the time. The Election Commission or Manager (I forget his title) did issue a statement about it, and it seemed to say they were going ahead with it at the courthouse this time for several reasons, but at least implied that they would be seeking other venues thereafter.

I'll look it up and see if I can quote him. If he put it in a statement for public consumption, it should be fair use to use his quote, since nobody here is making any money off if it. :-)

RB

I'll put in what was said...

... concerning the location of voting in the courthouse or elsewhere.

This is from Administrator of Elections Charles Holliway:

"I went down and talked to the community center, and the community center is already booked up. They would have to give me a room for 15 days that I could lock up and nobody could use, and they don’t have that this time. Since we don’t have anybody running in the courthouse this time, we’re going to have the election here. However, in the future we will consider moving it to the community center. The community center said they could accommodate us as long as they knew in advance. Security has to be in the courthouse. That issue we’ll just have to deal with this particular election as we have historically. It’s always been that way."

This is an EXCERPT from an article appearing in RCN on Sep 25. Holliway also said he had sent a letter to the state to request to be able to hold this voting in the courthouse. The article did not mention any contents of a reply.

RB

onetahiti's picture
RB

Thanks, RB!

-- OneTahiti

MY pleasure!

Glad to be of service when I can!

RB

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