Attention all Election Day Petition Circulators!
The Ohio Rights Group has asked volunteers to collect signatures for the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment (OCRA) at their county's early voting location and at their polling place on Election Day, November 4th. The signatures gathered at such locations are of high value since all potential signers will be both registered voters and residents of that county.
There are certain rules that must be followed to circulate petitions for any issue, including the OCRA, near a polling location. These rules have been enacted to protect the integrity of the vote. The Ohio Rights Group strongly supports them, which is why we ask that all petition circulators carefully follow them. The rules include:
- Signatures CANNOT be solicited within 100 feet of a polling place. Let's call that the "prohibited zone." There should be two U.S. flags to mark that spot.
- Circulators must stay at least 10 feet away from any person standing in line to vote, IF the line to vote extends beyond the prohibited zone.
- Potential petition signers can only be approached as they EXIT the polling place, not as they enter it.
- Circulators cannot enter a polling place for ANY reason, unless it is to vote. If a circulator goes in to vote, they must remove all political attire, including buttons, stickers, etc.
- Signatures can only be collected on public property. For example, while sidewalks may be public property, parking lots may not. Collection of signatures on private property will require the permission of the property owner before Election Day.
Here are a few useful documents that explain these rules.
- Rules for Petitioning Near Polling Locations. One page summary of these rules prepared for the OCRA.
- Ohio BOE - Polling Location Conduct and Media Access. From the Ohio Secretary of State, guidance to boards of election on permissible conduct near or around a polling location.
- ORG Attorney Letter. Letter from ORG Board Member and attorney Britt Ashley to explain that gathering signatures near polling places is a constitutionally protected activity provided the rules are followed.