Voting day myths

October 24, 2008 5:51:34 PM PDT
Go vote. It sounds simple, but there are myths, maybe even intentional efforts, to make some people think twice."There are already signs of voter intimidation, and I think we'll really see that heat up as we get closer to the election," said Zach Stalberg, President of the Committee of Seventy.

For example: the rumor that people in Philadelphia with outstanding warrants, even unpaid traffic tickets, will be arrested at the polls.

"Pennsylvania law requires that a policeman cannot come closer than 100 feet of a polling place. So, as a practical matter, you are not going to be arrested," Stalberg said.

And it's not true that there's one rule for all people with criminal records:

*Convicted felons do often permanently lose the right to vote In Delaware.
*But they can get it back in New Jersey, after all time, including parole and probation, is served.
*And in Pennsylvania, only people actually in prison or halfway houses are barred from the polls.

"If you've served your time, and you are no longer in a penal instituation, which includes a halfway house then you can vote," said Stalberg.

There is controversy over wearing campaign shirts or buttons to the polls. In Philadelphia, it's allowed. But some suburban officials may turn you away for inappropriate political speech.

Federal officials say, in all states, the best advice is to take a cover up, or take the campaign gear off.

"And then go back home, or to your car, or pull it out of your backpack, whatever the situation is," said Rosemary Rodriguez, Chair of the Federal Election Commission.

Come Election Day, if you run into any problems at the polls, stand your ground.

"Your option is to ask... any trouble whatsoever," said

For more information state guidelines on absentee ballots and ID requirements:

CLICK HERE for Pennsylvania information.

CLICK HERE for New Jersey information.

CLICK HERE for Delaware information.


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