News Detail

MAT Staff June 25, 2018

New Guidance from Secretary of State

The Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office has provided the following instructions for election officials when dealing with a person who is displaying campaign materials in a polling place on election day.

From the Secretary of State’s Office:

Please use the following process when dealing with an individual who is displaying campaign material or otherwise inducing or persuading another voter within the polling place:
1. Minnesota law prohibits a person from displaying campaign material or inducing or persuading a voter in the polling place.

2. Campaign materials include:

  • Any item including the name of a political party that has candidates designated under that party name on the ballot of the current election, for example, DFL or Republican. A minor party is not present on the primary ballot, therefore displaying campaign material, including apparel bearing a minor party name or the name of a political principle, for example, Libertarian, Independence, and the like at the primary is not prohibited. However, at the general election, such display would be prohibited if they were on the ballot.
  • Any item including the name of a candidate on the ballot at the current election. The name of a candidate who will appear only on the general election ballot, but not the primary, is not prohibited at the primary but is prohibited at the general election when that candidate appears on that ballot.
  • Any item in support of or in opposition to a ballot question appearing on the ballot that day.

3. If a person is displaying campaign material or otherwise inducing or persuading others within the polling place, you should do the following:

  • Explain that state election law prohibits displaying campaign material or inducing or persuading other voters in the polling place. (Minnesota Statutes, section 211B.11, subd. 1)
  • Ask the individual to either cover up or remove the campaign material while in the polling place, or to refrain from inducing or persuading other voters.
  • If they refuse, explain that eligible voters will be allowed to vote, but any refusal will be recorded and referred to appropriate authorities.

4. Even if a voter refuses to do so, you must permit any eligible voter to receive a ballot and vote.

5. Record the names and addresses of a voter from the polling place roster along with a brief description of the campaign material that the voter refused to remove or cover up, or a description of any other way in which the voter was inducing or persuading another voter.

6. Election judges and official challengers are prohibited from displaying campaign material in the polling place, or inducing or persuading voters. If they refuse to remove the campaign materials, or to stop inducing or persuading voters, you can ask them to leave.


Post expires at 4:25pm on Monday December 31st, 2018

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