People Try to Influence Other Voters at the Polls 10/24/12
CBS 7 Reporter
October 24, 2012
Odessa, TX - A presidential race and 2 controversial school bond issues are bringing more people to the polls.
Election officials say these voters are passionate. In fact there have already been complaints that some are breaking the law by trying to influence other voters at the polls.
"If a person's coming to vote they've already made their decision. They know who they want to vote for and what they want to vote for," claims Ector County Elections Administrator Mitzi Scheible.
But that doesn't stop people from trying to sway other voter’s opinions, even while they're waiting in line at the polls. The Ector County Elections office says one problem that has come up this week, is people talking politics while they wait in line. It's illegal, but still, some voters are going above and beyond to try and change your mind before you cast your ballot.
"Oh yea they were talking amongst themselves, saying they were going to vote straight democrat," claims Ector County Voter Garry Jones leaving his polling place.
Jones says he doesn't mind the chatter but election officials say it's not allowed.
"The first day we had someone say that there was a lady going down the line and saying don't vote for the school bond election,” Scheible says. “As soon as I heard that I went straight back there."
Scheible says voters don't want to hear it. She claims most people simply aren't in the mood to debate just minutes before they cast their ballot
"Some people get down right infuriated if they hear somebody talking politics,” she says. “Politics is a hard subject to talk about."
Now the elections office has a person designated to monitor conversations as people move through the line.
But voters we spoke to say they can talk all they want because at this point, their mind is made up.
"If you vote early you pretty well know who you're voting for its the ones who vote next Tuesday we've got to worry about," Jones says.
The elections office says voters also cannot wear campaign t-shirts or buttons when they come to vote. Scheible says you can be arrested for up to a class c misdemeanor for attempting to influence other voters.