Every election, friends, family and supporters of candidates hold signs outside polling locations in efforts to sway those last few undecided voters.
But if they get thirsty in the 100-degree heat or need to take a restroom break, these folks, per Davidson County Election Commission rules, aren’t allowed to enter the polling location to use its water fountain or toilet. This is the case even though many of these locations are public buildings — libraries, schools or community centers.
With Metro’s early voting nearing its end and Election Day one week away, Davidson County Deputy Elections Administrator Joan Nixon sent an email to candidates to clarify the rules:
“Your campaign workers are not allowed to come into polling locations unless they are voting,” Nixon’s email reads. “They are not allowed to go in and use the facilities [i.e. water fountain, restroom and etc.] ...”
Nixon, who in the email also outlines various regulations regarding yard signs at poll sites, added that campaign workers are to use “appropriate behavior” when addressing voters outside voting locations.
“It just comes up every election that people are going in and using the facilities — whether it’s water, or whatever, and it’s not allowed,” Nixon told The City Paper.
Nixon said the only people allowed inside are voters, election officials, commissioners, inspectors and poll watchers.
Through Wednesday, 22,771 voters had taken part in early voting. Election Day is Aug. 4.