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News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

One man's campaign

People approaching the polls at many Mount Pleasant polling places this morning were assaulted with hundreds of signs promoting Dick Devos.
As they approached, they would have gone past vehicles and tables loaded with Democratic signs and literature.
All of this was illegal. The Democrats' tables and vehicles generally were parked too close to the polling places. The Republicans' signs were in the street right-of-way, and the city of Mount Pleasant has a law against that.
Resident Denny Adams decided to do something about it. He picked up hundreds of illegal signs on his way to work. He says he just was very unhappy about the arrogance of the campaigners, and didn't think voters should have to put up with the illegal visual assault.
At West Intermediate School, school officials notified the Democrats their campaign wagon was too close to the building, and they moved on.


Blogger John B. said...


I agree that the Republican placing of DeVos signs all over the place was clearly illegal, but Democrats had no tables at any schools or elsewhere.

Democrats did have a visual presence at the polls with volunteers to hand out slate cards, but all were outside the 100 foot caveat specified by law.

We checked with MDP attorneys who had advised us we had a right to be at any public property, including school property as long as we did not interfere or block traffic to and from the school.

We did indeed pull our troops away from the West Intermediate School for a short time until we could get a definitive ruling from our attorneys, but school officials who claimed we had no right to be on school property are simply misinformed and Gary Allen called me to apologize for the "misunderstanding."

To place our clearly legal activities in the same category as Republican misdeeds is to very clearly misinform the public and to do a disservice to all of our volunteers who worked so diligently on election day.

Perhaps you are a familiar with the First Amendment that allows citizens to
voice their opinions in a variety of ways, but very clearly the misinformed school principal at West Intermediate is not.

It is my opinion that school officials over-reacted because they simply disagreed politically that Democrats should be at the polls. But to claim that school property is not public property is ridiculous.

I can understand that conducting elections at schools while they are open can present some problems, but I believe those problems can be worked out.

I would suggest Election Day in Michigan should be a holiday or at least a day when schools take a day off or schedule a teacher in-service.

4:58 PM 

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