Saturday, May 18, 2024

Electioneering at the polls no longer allowed within 250 feet

Staff Writer | May 9, 2024 1:00 AM

Electioneering at the polls is no longer allowed within 250 feet.

The May 21 primary will see some changes in electioneering on Election Day since a new bill has increased the distance from 100 feet to 250 feet within a polling place or any building where an election is being held. 

Senate Bill 1244 went into effect on March 26, 2024, and will be in place for every election in Idaho. The bill reads that this additional distance has been put in place to “protect the freedom of voters to exercise their franchise without interference or intimidation.” Additionally, it is to ensure the administration of an election at any polling place is undisturbed. 

The Boundary County Courthouse is also one of the locations where electioneering cannot take place within 250 feet on Election Day. 

The law prohibits any electioneering, circulation of cards, soliciting signatures of any kind of petition, advocating for or against candidates, soliciting votes in any manner, giving or offering to give money or gifts, or engaging in any practice that interferes with the freedom of voters to exercise their franchise or disrupts the administration of the polling place. 

Obstructing the doors or entrances to the polling place or the building it is located in is not allowed. Any election or law enforcement officer can arrest any person determined to be in violation, and an offender may be subject to a fine ranging from $25 to $1,000. 

Senator Scott Herndon, District 1, voted against the bill. In the House of Representatives, Mark Sauter, District 1A, sponsored the bill, and Sage Dixon, District 1B, also supported the bill. 

• Boundary County voting locations are as follows:

• Naples Precinct: South Boundary Fire Station 1, 20 Stagecoach Road. 

• Copeland Precinct: Mount Hall School, 1275 Highway 1. 

• Precincts Bonners Ferry/Kootenai, North Bonners Ferry, and Valley View: Exhibit Hall at Boundary County Fairgrounds, 6571 Recreation Park Road. 

• Moyie Springs Precinct: Moyie Springs City Hall, 3331 Roosevelt Road.