Warning issued not to bother voters | NevadaAppeal.com

Warning issued not to bother voters

Secretary of State Dean Heller has issued a warning to political parties and others, including attorneys, not to interfere with voters at polling places.

Chief Deputy Secretary of State Renee Parker also reminded voters they don’t have to talk to anyone about their ballots before or after voting. She said they should report any attempts to intimidate or harass them immediately.

Heller said there have been many reports of political operatives intending to be at polling places on election day. The Republican Party asked Heller’s office what the limits would be for their operatives who wish to challenge voters.

In addition, there have been national reports the GOP is planning to challenge voters it doesn’t believe are properly registered or qualified to vote along with reports that attorneys across the country are planning to go to polling places to “assist” voters with any problems.

“I want to make it clear to anyone who believes otherwise that I will prosecute to the full extent of the law anyone engaging in any activity that makes a voter at any polling place in this state feel intimidated, harassed, coerced or influenced,” Heller said Thursday. “Such illegal activity will not be tolerated no matter who the culprit may be.”

Nevada law bars electioneering within 100 feet of the entrance to any polling place and prohibits any attempt to intimidate any voter or interfere with the conduct of the election.

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Parker said any violation is a crime but is also punishable by civil penalties of up to $20,000 per incident.

She added that Nevada’s county election officials are also well aware of the laws.

Heller said the rules also apply to media outlets which conduct exit polling. They too must stay outside that 100 foot zone.

“Voters must not be dissuaded or intimidated from voting for the candidates of their choice by anyone who would seek to thwart that sacred right.”

Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at nevadaappeal@sbcglobal.net or 687-8750.