View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Friday, October 22, 2004

Beware of Poll Watchers 

Having seen election judge intimidation up close in Florida, Secretary of State Davidson is taking steps to make sure we'll be able to do our jobs on November 2. For instance, she made it clear that only one poll watcher per precinct will be allowed, making it much harder to tag-team beleaguered poll workers who have been trying to spell "S-as-in-Sam-H-A-R-F-as-in-Frank" all day.

One of the more interesting decisions yet to be made is about cell phones. Right now, ringers need to be set to vibrate, and cell phones with recorders or cameras won't be allowed in the polls at all, to prevent people from upload picture to the Master Face Database down at party headquarters. There's a chance that cell phones might not be allowed at all.

That would probably be a good idea, although I'm sure Common Cause would file a lawsuit charging that their free speech rights were being violated. (Common Cause has the least to worry about. They barely have a time-delay between thought and speech.) But it would prevent poll watchers from organizing campaign activities from inside the polling place, as has happened in other places.

On the whole, though, this looks like a good set of rules.

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