Politicking at the Polling Place


 Vermont law prohibits politicking within the building containing the polling place.  17 VSA §2508

  • Campaigning, electioneering or discussion of the General Election or Bond Vote is prohibited inside the location where an election is being held (the polling place).
  • Exit polling is considered politicking and must remain outside of the polling place.
  • Voters must remove or cover campaign buttons, hats, articles of clothing and other paraphernalia before coming in to vote.  Coats should be kept on if a person is wearing a campaign shirt.
  • Individual voters may bring in brochures and written campaign materials for their own use, but these may not be shown to other.  Materials left in the voting booth or polling place will be discarded.
  • SIGNS:  Candidates and campaigns may not leave unattended signs or campaign materials outside the polling place.  Signs must be held at all time and not propped against the building.  Unattended signs and campaign materials will be discarded by election officials. 

Vermont law permits the presiding officer to designate an area OUTSIDE of the polling place where candidates, supporters and pollsters can stand, offer information, conduct polls, and/or hold signs. 

  • PARKING SPACES (2) in front of the polling location are RESERVED for handicapped vehicles and curbside voting, and must remain clear.
  • The voter's progress into and out of the polling place may not be blocked.
  • Offenders will be asked to leave the area if these guidelines are not adhered to.
  • If any question arises, please contact the presiding election official.

The Guide to Placement of Political Campaign Signs at the Secretary of State’s website will give more pre-election and day-of-election sign guidance. 

Guidelines for Poll watchers

Representatives of political parties, candidates and political committees have a right to be present and observe voters at the entrance checklist.    They have a right to hear the name of each voter restated by the entrance checklist election official.  If there are more people wishing to observe the process inside the polling place than we are able to safely accommodate, you may be asked to observe in shifts. 

Poll watchers MUST 

  • remain in an area specifically designated
  • not project any campaign affiliation – no buttons, campaign materials, clothing, etc. 
  • not speak to voters
  • not distract or disturb or interrupt election officials
  • not use cell phones inside the polling place
  • not set up their own tables and require voters to stop and give their names – either inside or outside the polling place
  • must not ask to view the checklist  (**see below)
Viewing of the checklist (17 V.S.A. § 2572

 (a) A representative of each political party, a candidate on the ballot not represented by a political party and a representative of each committee supporting or opposing any public question on the ballot shall each have the right to view, no more than two times each, a copy of the checklist upon which the election officials are marking those persons who have voted.

(b) This viewing shall occur only at times during the election which are convenient for the election officials and is required to be permitted only in instances where the board of civil authority have received a request in writing from the representative or candidate at least 12 hours before the opening of the polls.

**(c) This section shall only apply at polling places which have checklists of eligible voters numbering 500 or less. 

Morristown meets the requirements of Section 2572(c). Therefore, viewing of the voter checklist will not be permitted at any time.


Challenges (17 V.S.A. § 2564)

(a)(1)(A) Each organized political party, each candidate on the ballot not representing an organized political party, and each committee supporting or opposing any public question on the ballot shall have the right to have not more than two representatives for each voting district, in a polling place but outside the guardrail, for the purpose of observing the voting process and challenging the right of any person to vote.

(B) In no event shall such representatives be permitted to interfere with the orderly conduct of the election, and the presiding officer shall have authority to impose reasonable rules for the preservation of order.

(C) However, in all cases the representatives shall have the right to hear or see the name of a person seeking to vote, and they shall have the right to make an immediate challenge to a person's right to vote.

(2) The grounds of challenge of a person whose name appears on the checklist shall be only:

(A) that he or she is not, in fact, the person whose name appears on the checklist; or

(B) that he or she has previously voted in the same election.

(b) If a challenge is issued, the members of the board of civil authority present in the polling place shall immediately convene, informally hear the facts, and decide whether the challenge should be sustained.

(1) If the board overrules the challenge, the person shall immediately be admitted within the guardrail and permitted to vote.

(2) If the board sustains the challenge, the person shall not be admitted unless, before the polls close, he or she shall obtain a court order directing that he or she be permitted to vote. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2017, No. 50, § 38.)