Corrected: According to Politifact
- Ohio laws say no one can campaign within 100 feet from a polling place or within 10 feet of any voter in line.
- Sen. Kamala Harris briefly spoke outside of the Cuyahoga County early voting center in Cleveland. She made no mention of candidates and gave a brief pep talk to people in line about the power of voting.
- County elections officials said she did not violate electioneering laws.
Senator Kamala Harris had some trouble on the Campaign trail Sunday with the embarrassing video footage to emerge from two different events, one in Michigan where there were no attendees and one in Ohio where Harris is seen almost begging people to vote for her.
In this footage of her event in Detriot, a videographer films the audience prior to Harris’ speech, showing a small handful of people.
In a second video from later in the day, Harris is seen yelling over to people who are standing in line to vote, that she is thanking them for voting.
“You are going to make the decision about your future about your family’s future. It is through the voice of your vote and you have the power. The power is with the people,” Harris said through a bullhorn, shaking her finger at people.
This borders on “Electioneering”, but apparently she bloke no laws. Maybe the laws should be reconsidered.
The footage went viral, and numerous people mentioned that her appearance there could be illegal, being so close to a polling spot.
See if these Ohio laws apply. We are not saying they do, but you can read them for yourself her:
Statutory Definitions Relating to Electioneering Communication
“Electioneering communication” means any broadcast, cable or satellite communication that refers
to a clearly identified candidate and that is made during either of the following periods of time:
a. If the person becomes a candidate before the day of the primary election at which candidates
will be nominated for election to that office, between the date that the person becomes
a candidate and the 30th day prior to that primary election and between the date of the
primary election and the 30th day prior to the general election at which a candidate will be
elected to that office.
b. If the person becomes a candidate after the day of the primary election at which candidates
were nominated for election to that office or between the date of the primary election and
the 30th day prior to the general election at which a candidate will be elected to that office.2
“Refers to a clearly identified candidate” means that the candidate’s name, nickname, photograph
or drawing appears, or the identity of the candidate is otherwise apparent through an unambiguous
reference to the person, such as “the chief justice,” “the governor,” “member of the Ohio Senate,”
“member of the Ohio House of Representatives,” and other such examples cited in the act, or
through an unambiguous reference to the person’s status as a candidate.
Electioneering communication does not include any of the
a. A communication that is publicly disseminated through a means
of communication other than a broadcast, cable or satellite
television or radio station, such as communications appearing
in print media, mailings, brochures, bumper stickers, yard signs,
communications over the internet, including e-mail, or telephone
b. A communication that appears in a news story, commentary,
public service announcement, news programming or editorial
distributed through the facilities of any broadcast, cable or
satellite television or radio station, unless those facilities are
owned or controlled by any political party, political committee,
c. A communication that constitutes an expenditure or an independent expenditure.
d. A communication that constitutes a candidate debate or forum or that solely promotes a
candidate debate or forum and is made by or on behalf of the person sponsoring the debate
The Citizen reporter who filmed Harris’s speech in Detroit said about 200 people finally showed up to hear her, and pointed out that Harris used a special accent for the Detroit crowd, adding a bit of pandering to the event.