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      RS 18:1462     

  

§1462.  Acts prohibited during early voting or on election day; electioneering; intimidation; exceptions; enforcement; penalties

A.  The Legislature of Louisiana recognizes that the right to vote is a right that is essential to the effective operation of a democratic government.  Due to a past, longstanding history of election problems, such as multiple voting, votes being recorded for persons who did not vote, votes being recorded for deceased persons, voting by non-residents, vote buying, and voter intimidation, the legislature finds that the state has a compelling interest in securing a person's right to vote in an environment which is free from intimidation, harassment, confusion, obstruction, and undue influence.  The legislature, therefore, enacts this Subsection to provide for a six hundred foot campaign-free zone around polling places to provide to each voter such an environment in which to exercise his right to vote. Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, it shall be unlawful for any person, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., to perform or cause to be performed any of the following acts within any polling place being used in an election on election day or during early voting, or within a radius of six hundred feet of the entrance to any polling place being used in an election on election day or during early voting:

(1)  To solicit in any manner or by any means whatsoever any other person to vote for or against any candidate or proposition being voted on in such election.

(2)  To remain within any such polling place or within a radius of six hundred feet of the entrance of any such polling place, except when exercising the right to vote, after having been directed by an election commissioner, law enforcement officer, registrar, or deputy registrar  to leave the premises or area of a polling place.

(3)  To hand out, place, or display campaign cards, pictures, or other campaign literature of any kind or description whatsoever.

(4)  To place or display political signs, pictures, or other forms of political advertising.

(5)  To circulate a recall petition or seek handwritten signatures to a recall petition.

B.  The provisions hereof shall not apply to the placing and displaying, either by the owner, lessee, or lawful occupant thereof, or with the consent of such owner, lessee or occupant, of political signs or pictures on private property which is not being used as a polling place.

C.  The provisions of this Section shall not be construed as prohibiting any appointed election commissioner or any official watcher from remaining in and about the polling place in which he was selected to serve.

D.  No election official shall wear any badge, button, pin, or other insignia identifying him with any political candidate or faction.

E.  No election official shall in any manner attempt to influence any voter to vote for or against any candidate or proposition being voted on in the election being held in that polling place.

F.  The duly constituted law enforcement officers of the political subdivision in which any such election is being held shall enforce the provisions of this Section when requested to do so by a registrar, deputy registrar, commissioner-in-charge or commissioner.  The registrar, deputy registrars, commissioners-in-charge and commissioners likewise shall enforce the provisions of this Section at the polling places.  The law enforcement officers, commissioners-in-charge, commissioners, deputy registrars and registrar are authorized to seize, remove, and destroy any political cards, signs, pictures, or literature being used or displayed in violation of any of the provisions hereof.

G.  Whoever violates any provision of this Section shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.  On a second offense or any succeeding offense, the penalty shall be a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Acts 1976, No. 697, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1978.  Amended by Acts 1980, No. 810, §1; Acts 1982, No. 778, §1, eff. Aug. 4, 1982; Acts 1995, No. 300, §1, eff. June 15, 1995; Acts 2004, No. 626, §1; Acts 2005, No. 220, §4, eff. Jan. 1, 2006; Acts 2010, No. 797, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2011; Acts 2013, No. 383, §1, eff. June 18, 2013.



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