2011 Connecticut Code
Title 9 Elections
Chapter 146 Elections
Sec. 9-236. Activities prohibited in and near polling place; distance markers; entry restricted; exceptions.

      Sec. 9-236. Activities prohibited in and near polling place; distance markers; entry restricted; exceptions. (a) On the day of any primary, referendum or election, no person shall solicit on behalf of or in opposition to the candidacy of another or himself or on behalf of or in opposition to any question being submitted at the election or referendum, or loiter or peddle or offer any advertising matter, ballot or circular to another person within a radius of seventy-five feet of any outside entrance in use as an entry to any polling place or in any corridor, passageway or other approach leading from any such outside entrance to such polling place or in any room opening upon any such corridor, passageway or approach, except as provided in section 9-294. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit (1) parent-teacher associations or parent-teacher organizations from holding bake sales or other fund-raising activities on the day of any primary, referendum or election in any school used as a polling place, provided such sales or activities shall not be held in the room in which the election booths are located, (2) the registrars of voters from directing the officials at a primary, referendum or election to distribute, within the restricted area, adhesive labels on which are imprinted the words "I Voted Today", or (3) the registrars of voters in a primary, election or referendum from jointly permitting nonpartisan activities to be conducted in a room other than the room in which the election booths are located. The registrars may jointly impose such conditions and limitations on such nonpartisan activity as deemed necessary to ensure the orderly process of voting. The moderator shall evict any person who in any way interferes with the orderly process of voting.

      (b) (1) The selectmen shall provide suitable markers to indicate the seventy-five-foot distance from such entrance. Such markers shall consist of a board resting on an iron rod, which board shall be not less than twelve inches square and painted a bright color and shall bear the figures and letters "75 feet" and the following words: "On the day of any primary, referendum or election no person shall solicit in behalf of or in opposition to another or himself or peddle or offer any ballot, advertising matter or circular to another person or loiter within a radius of seventy-five feet of any outside entrance in use as an entry to any polling place or in any corridor, passageway or other approach leading from any such outside entrance to such polling place or in any room opening upon any such corridor, passageway or approach."

      (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, the selectmen may provide the markers required by the provisions of this subsection in effect prior to October 1, 1983, except that in the case of a referendum which is not held in conjunction with an election or a primary, the selectmen shall provide the markers required by subdivision (1) of this subsection.

      (3) The moderator and the moderator's assistants shall meet at least twenty minutes before the opening of a primary, referendum or an election in the voting district, and shall cause to be placed by a police officer or constable, or such other primary or election official as they select, a suitable number of distance markers. Such moderator or any police officer or constable shall prohibit loitering and peddling of tickets within that distance.

      (c) No person except those permitted or exempt under this section or section 9-236a and primary or election officials and party checkers appointed under section 9-235 shall be allowed within any polling place except for the purpose of casting his vote. Representatives of the news media shall be allowed to enter, remain within and leave any polling place or restricted area surrounding any polling place to observe the election, provided any such representative who in any way interferes with the orderly process of voting shall be evicted by the moderator. A number of students in grades four to twelve, inclusive, not to exceed four at any one time in any one polling place, may enter any polling place between twelve o'clock noon and three o'clock p.m. for the purpose of observing the activities taking place in the polling place, provided there is proper parental or teacher supervision present, and provided further, any such student who in any way interferes with the orderly process of voting shall be evicted by the moderator. An elector may be accompanied into any polling place by one or more children who are fifteen years of age or younger and supervised by the elector if the elector is the parent or legal guardian of such children. Any person who violates any provision of this section or, while the polls are open for voting, removes or injures any such distance marker, shall be fined not more than fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than three months, or both.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1068; 1953, 1955, June, 1955, S. 712d; November, 1955, S. N113; 1957, P.A. 494, S. 2; 1969, P.A. 65; 799; P.A. 73-410, S. 1, 2; P.A. 78-153, S. 29, 32; P.A. 79-370; P.A. 81-434, S. 1; P.A. 83-147; P.A. 87-251, S. 1; P.A. 89-286, S. 1, 3; P.A. 93-384, S. 1; P.A. 94-203, S. 8, 12; P.A. 97-154, S. 1, 27; P.A. 10-32, S. 23.)

      History: 1969 acts provided for admission of representatives of news media to any polling place at discretion of moderator and provided that parent-teacher associations or organizations may hold bake sales or other fund raising activities on an election or primary day in a school used as a polling place provided that the activity not take place in room where election booths are located; P.A. 73-410 expanded rights of representatives of news media to remain within and to leave polling places to observe the election, further provided for eviction of such representatives by moderator if in any way they interfere with voting; P.A. 78-153 prohibited placement of advertising matter related directly or indirectly to election or primary on municipally-owned property, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-370 provided for admission of no more than four, at any one time, junior or senior high school students to a polling place between hours of noon and three p.m. for purpose of observation and also provided for eviction in case of interference; P.A. 81-434 eliminated a prohibition against placing political advertising matter on municipally-owned property on the day of a primary or election; P.A. 83-147 applied the provisions of this section to referenda and allowed selectmen to use markers required by this section prior to October 1, 1983, in certain circumstances; P.A. 87-251 allowed children 10 years of age or younger to accompany an elector into a polling place; P.A. 89-286 allowed students in grades four to twelve, inclusive, instead of junior and senior high school students only, to enter polling place "between twelve o'clock noon and three o'clock p.m." instead of "during the hours of twelve o'clock noon and three o'clock p.m." and, when allowed by registrars of voters, for purposes of Sec. 9-236a; P.A. 93-384 authorized distribution of "I Voted Today" labels in restricted area; P.A. 94-203 inserted "or in opposition to" and moved a reference to Sec. 9-236a, effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 97-154 divided section into Subsecs., amended Subsec. (a) by inserting Subdiv. numbers and adding Subdiv. (3) re nonpartisan activities in a room other than the room in which election booths are located, and amended Subsec. (c) to increase maximum age of children who may accompany an elector into polling place from 10 years to 15 years, and to add proviso that such elector be the parent or legal guardian of such children, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 10-32 made technical changes, effective May 10, 2010.

      Cited. 129 C. 503.

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