Electioneering Prohibitions

4/1/2021

vote here sign

Each state has some form of restriction on political activities near polling places when voting is taking place.

These restrictions usually include limiting the display of signs, handing out campaign literature or soliciting votes within a pre-determined distance (typically 50 to 200 feet) of a polling place. Some states also address what apparel voters can wear within polling places (read NCSL's blog on the electioneering apparel case that made it to the Supreme Court).

This webpage provides a breakdown of prohibitions in each state. Here is a summary:

  • 15 states prohibit campaign apparel/buttons/stickers/placards  
  • 37 states prohibit campaign materials/signs/banners/literature 
  • 28 States prohibit influencing voters/soliciting votes/political persuasion        
  • 17 states prohibit circulating petitions/soliciting signatures         
  • 9 states prohibit projecting sounds referring to candidates/issues             
  • 6 states prohibit polls/exit polls
  • 9 states prohibit loitering           
  • 3 states prohibit peddling/advertising   
  • 10 states prohibit voter intimidation/interfering with voter         
  • 10 states prohibit obstructing entrance/hindering voter

The table below provides information on electioneering prohibitions for each state.

Table 1: State Statutes on Electioneering Prohibitions

State

Distance

Prohibitions

Alabama

Ala. Code § 17-9-50

30 feet of the door

● Other: No one other than electors, persons to assist them, the judge of probate, the sheriff or his deputies, precinct election officials, and watchers is permitted within the perimeter.

Alaska

AS § 15.15.170

200 feet of entrance

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

Arizona

A.R.S. § 16-1018

75 ft. of polling place or entrance to early voting location

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Voter Intimidation/Interfering with Voter

Obstructing Entrance/Hindering Voter

Arkansas

A.C.A. § 7-1-103(8), 7-1-104

100 ft. of exterior entrance; includes people in line

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

● Projecting Sounds Referring to Candidates/Issues

● Voter Intimidation/Interfering with Voter

California

Elec. Code § 319.5, 18370

100 ft. of polling place, satellite location or election official's office

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

● Projecting Sounds Referring to Candidates/Issues

● Loitering

Colorado

C.R.S. § 1-13-714

100 ft. of any building where a polling place is located

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

 

Connecticut

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-236

75 ft. of the outside entrance to a polling place, or in any corridor passageway or approach leading to a polling place

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Loitering

● Peddling/Advertising

Delaware

15 Del. C. § 4942

50 ft. of entrance of building

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Projecting Sounds Referring to Candidates/Issues

Florida

Fla. Stat. § 102.031

150 ft. of the entrance to a polling place, early voting site, or office of the supervisor

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

● Polls/Exit Polls – Note: there is an exception allowing exit polls

Georgia

Ga. Code § 21-2-414

150 ft. of the outer edge of the building where a polling place is established, or within 25 feet of any voter standing in line

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

● Polls/Exit Polls – Note: exit polls and opinion polls are prohibited within 25 ft. of the exit

Hawaii

H.R.S. § 11-132

200 ft. from the perimeter of any voter service center or any place of deposit; includes the building, its parking lot, and routes of access between them

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Polls/Exit Polls

Idaho

I.C. § 18-2318

100 ft. of a building where an election is being held

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

● Obstructing Entrance/Hindering Voter

● Other: "Engage in any practice which interferes with the freedom of voters to exercise their franchise or disrupts the administration of the polling place."

Illinois

10 ILCS 5/17-29

100 ft. of any polling place, or at the option of a church or private school that is a polling place, on any of that property

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

 

Indiana

I.C. § 3-14-3-16 and 3-5-2-10

within the polls or the chute (this is an area or pathway 50 ft. in length, measured from the entrance to the polls; if the property line is less than 50 ft. from the entrance, the chute extends half way from the entrance to the property line)

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

 

Iowa

Iowa Code § 39A.4

300 ft. of the outside door of the building where the polls are held

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

● Loitering

● Voter Intimidation/Interfering with Voter

● Obstructing Entrance/Hindering Voter

 

Kansas

K.S.A. § 25-2430

250 ft. of the entrance

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

 

Kentucky

K.R.S. § 117.235(3)

100 ft. of the entrance to a building where a voting machine is located on election day

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

 

Louisiana

La. Stat. Ann. § 18:1462

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

● Loitering

Maine

21-A M.R.S. § 682

250 ft. of the entrance

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Projecting Sounds Referring to Candidates/Issues – Note: buttons of 3" or less are allowed

Maryland

Md. Code, Elec. Law § 16-206(b)

100 ft. from the entrance and exit

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

 

Massachusetts

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 54 § 65

150 ft. of the building entrance door

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

 

Michigan

M.C.L. § 168.931(k)

100 ft. from the entrance to a building where a polling place is located

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

Minnesota

Minn. Stat. § 204C.06

100 ft. of the building where a polling place is located

● Other: Intoxicating liquor is prohibited

Mississippi

Miss. Code § 23-15-895

150 ft. of any entrance to a building  where an election is being held

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

 

Missouri

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 115.637(18)

25 ft. of the building's outer door closest to the polling place

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Polls/Exit Polls

Montana

M.C.A. § 13-35-211

100 ft. of any entrance to the building where a polling place is located

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Polls/Exit Polls

● Other: Candidates, their family, and their campaign workers/volunteers cannot distribute alcohol, tobacco, food, drink, or anything of value

Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 32-1524

200 ft. of polling place or any building designated for voters to cast ballots

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Projecting Sounds Referring to Candidates/Issues

Nevada

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.740

100 ft. from the entrance of the building or other structure where a polling place is located

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

● Projecting Sounds Referring to Candidates/Issues

 

New Hampshire

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 659:43

there are "no-electioneering corridors" that are at least 10 ft. wide and extend from all entrances to the polling place and extend "a reasonable distance along sidewalks or to the parking lots that serve the polling place"

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Voter Intimidation/Interfering with Voter

New Jersey

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 19:34-6

100 ft. of the polling place

● Loitering

● Voter Intimidation/Interfering with Voter

● Obstructing Entrance/Hindering Voter

New Mexico

N.M. Stat. § 1-20-16

100 ft. of the building where a polling place is located or the door through which voters enter to vote

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

 

New York

N.Y. Elec. Law § 8-104, 17-140

100 ft. from entrances to a building where the election is being held

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Other: Providing or purchasing meat, drink, tobacco, refreshment or other provision with a retail value of more than one dollar is prohibited in polling places (see statue for exceptions).

North Carolina

N.C.G.S. § 163-166.4

Dimensions of the buffer zone are set by the county board of elections and must not be less than 25 ft. nor more than 50 ft. from the door of entrance to the voting place

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Voter Intimidation/Interfering with Voter

● Obstructing Entrance/Hindering Voter

● Other: Includes a broad ban on "election-related activity"

North Dakota

N.D.C.C. § 16.1-10-03, -06, -06.2

100 ft. from the entrance to the room containing the polling place

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

● Peddling/Advertising

Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code § 3501.35 and .30

Within the area between the polling place and the small U.S. flags placed on the thoroughfares and walkways leading to the polling place, and if the line of electors waiting to vote extends beyond those small flags, within 10 ft. of any elector in line. Flags are placed 100 ft. from the polling place.

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Loitering

● Voter Intimidation/Interfering with Voter

● Obstructing Entrance/Hindering Voter

Oklahoma

Okla. Stat. tit. 26, § 7-108

300 ft. of the ballot box

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

 

Oregon

O.R.S. § 260.695

100 ft. measured radially from any entrance to a building designated for the deposit of ballots

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

● Projecting Sounds Referring to Candidates/Issues

● Obstructing Entrance/Hindering Voter

Pennsylvania

25 Pa. Stat. § 3060

10 ft. from the polling place

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

 

Rhode Island

17 R.I.G.L. § 19-49

50 ft. of the entrance of the building where voting is conducted

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

 

South Carolina

S.C. Code § 7-25-180

200 ft. of any entrance used by the voters to enter the polling place

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

 

South Dakota

S.D.C.L. § 12-18-3

100 ft. from any entrance leading into a polling place

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

● Projecting Sounds Referring to Candidates/Issues

● Voter Intimidation/Interfering with Voter

● Obstructing Entrance/Hindering Voter

Tennessee

Tenn. Code § 2-7-111

100 ft from the designated entrances to the building where the election is held

● Campaign Apparel/Buttons/Stickers/Placards

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Peddling/Advertising

● Other: Certain counties may extend the 100 ft. boundary

Texas

Tex. Elec. Code § 61.003 and .004

100 ft. of an outside door through which a voter may enter a building in which a polling place is located

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Projecting Sounds Referring to Candidates/Issues

● Loitering

Utah

Utah Code § 20A-3a-501

150 ft. of the building where a polling place is located

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

● Voter Intimidation/Interfering with Voter

● Other: It is prohibited to "engage in any practice that interferes with the freedom of voters to vote or disrupts the administration of the polling place"

Vermont

17 V.S.A. § 2508

On the walks and driveways leading to a building in which a polling place is located

● Voter Intimidation/Interfering with Voter

● Obstructing Entrance/Hindering Voter

● Other: "During polling hours, the presiding officer shall control the placement of signs on the property of the polling place in a fair manner."

Virginia

Va. Code § 24.2-604

40 ft. of the entrance of a polling place

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Loitering

● Obstructing Entrance/Hindering Voter

Washington

R.C.W. § 29A.84.510

n/a

● Other: Within a voting center, it is prohibited to suggest or persuade any voter, circulate cards or handbills, solicit petition signatures, engage in any practice which interferes with the freedom of voters to exercise their franchise or disrupts the administration of the voting center, obstruct doors or entries or prevent free access.

West Virginia

W.V. Code § 3-1-37

100 ft. of the outside entrance to a building housing a polling place

● Loitering

Wisconsin

Wis. Stat. § 12.03 and .035

100 ft. of an entrance to a building containing a polling place

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

 

Wyoming

Wyo. Stat. § 22-26-113 and -114

100 yards of any public entrance to the building in which a polling place is located

● Campaign Materials/Signs/Banners/Literature

● Influencing Voters/Soliciting Votes/Political Persuasion

● Circulating Petitions/Soliciting Signatures

● Polls/Exit Polls – Note: exit polls conducted by the media are allowed; all other polls are prohibited

● Other: Disturbing a polling place consists of creating any disorder or disruption at a polling place or interfering with the orderly conduct of an election

 

The table below provides additional information for the 21 states that have statutory restrictions on apparel in the polling place. If you know something that we don't have included, please let us know.

Table 2: State Statutes on Electioneering Apparel

State

Statute

Prohibits

Arkansas § 7-1-103(8)

"(d) Displaying a candidate's name, likeness, or logo;

(e) Displaying a ballot measure's number, title, subject, or logo;
(f) Displaying or dissemination of buttons, hats, pencils, pens, shirts, signs, or stickers containing electioneering information."

California

§ 319.5

“(a) A display of a candidate’s name, likeness, or logo.

(b) A display of a ballot measure’s number, title, subject, or logo.

(c) Buttons, hats, pencils, pens, shirts, signs, or stickers containing electioneering information.”

Delaware

Title 15, § 4942

“the wearing of any button, banner or other object referring to issues, candidates or partisan topics…”

Indiana § 3-14-3-16 "wearing or displaying an article of clothing, sign, button, or placard that states the name of any political party or includes the name, picture, photograph, or other likeness of any currently elected federal, state, county, or local official."

Kansas

§ 25-2430(a)

“wearing, exhibiting or distributing labels, signs, posters, stickers or other materials that clearly identify a candidate in the election or clearly indicate support or opposition to a question submitted election within any polling place”

Maine § 682

"...campaign literature, posters, palm cards, buttons, badges or stickers containing a candidate's name or otherwise intending to influence the opinion of any voter regarding a candidate for an office or question that is on the ballot for the election that day." The statute provides an exception for campaign buttons that do not exceed 3 inches and are worn by people at the polling place solely for the purpose of voting.

Michigan § 168.744 "...any material that directly or indirectly makes reference to an election, a candidate, or a ballot question."
Minnesota § 211B.11 "A political badge, political button, or other political insignia may not be worn at or about the polling place on primary or election day."

Montana

§ 13-35-211(1)

“any badge, button, or other insignia that is designed or tends to aid or promote the success or defeat of any candidate or ballot issue to be voted upon at the election.”

Nebraska § 32 154

"...the deliberate, visible display or audible or physical dissemination of information for the purpose of advocating for or against [a candidate,] including
"(i) Such a candidate's name, likeness, logo, or symbol;

(ii) Such a ballot measure's number, title, subject matter, logo, or symbol;

(iii) A button, hat, pencil, pen, shirt, sign, or sticker containing information prohibited by this section."

Nevada 293.740 "...Buying, selling, wearing or displaying any badge, button or other insigne which is designed or tends to aid or promote the success or defeat of any political party or a candidate or ballot question to be voted upon at that election."
New Hampshire 659:43 "The distribution or posting of electioneering communications, including but not limited to posters, cards, handbills, placards, pictures, pins, stickers, circulars, or articles of clothing, is prohibited within any no-electioneering corridor..."

New Jersey

§ 19:34-19

“display, sell, give or provide any political badge, button or other insignia to be worn…”

New Mexico § 1-20-16 "the display or distribution of signs or campaign literature, campaign buttons, t-shirts, hats, pins or other such items..."

New York

§ 8-104(1)

“…no political banner, button, poster or placard shall be allowed in or upon the polling place…”

North Dakota § 16.1-10-03 "No such political badge, button, or insignia may be worn within that same area while a polling place is open for voting."
Rhode Island § 19-49 "...any political party button, badge, or other device..."

South Carolina

§ 7-25-180(B)

“If the candidate enters the polling place, he may not display any of this identification including, but not limited to, campaign stickers or buttons.”

Tennessee

§ 2-7-111(b)(1)

“the display of campaign posters, signs or other campaign materials, distribution of campaign materials, and solicitation of votes for or against any person, political party, or position on a question are prohibited.”

Texas

§ 61.010(a)

“…a person may not wear a badge, insignia, emblem, or other similar communicative device relating to a candidate, measure, or political party appearing on the ballot, or to the conduct of the election, in the polling place’

Vermont

Title 17, § 2508(a)

“…no campaign literature, stickers, buttons, name stamps, information on write-in candidates, or other political materials are displayed, placed, handed out, or allowed to remain.”

For comments or questions, please contact NCSL's election team.