Electioneering Guide

When I go forwards, you go backwards / And somewhere we will meet

A week ago, Martin Malavé Dilan campaign workers flooded the streets, occupying every corner of Bushwick that falls within the 18th Senate District. I biked to work at about 8 am and immediately encountered a young man with neck tats singing, bopping around and passing out Dilan palm cards to passersby. I stopped at the light next to him and we exchanged what's ups. He extended a card to me, but I didn't have pockets. He smiled and went back to waltzing in place. 

Over on Central Ave, a crew of 3 campaign workers stood so close to the polling place at a nearby school that I had to Google electioneering laws in New York City:

Electioneering is prohibited within 100 feet of the polling site entrance. Electioneering includes:

  • Distributing, wearing, or carrying political literature, posters, banners, or buttons.
  • Soliciting votes.

I imagine the campaign went out the night before with some chalk and a few yardsticks to measure a hundred feet from the door. Then they marked a little X on the pavement at 101 and said 'there you go. stand here." 

When I got to the polling place, two poll workers chatted with the only other voter in there about campaign law leading up to the presidential election:

"So let me ask you this: If you walked in here with a Hillary Clinton t-shirt on, would that be illegal?" A worker asked. 

The voter pondered the riddle then responded: "Not unless the shirt said 'Vote for Hillary Clinton.'" 

That's a bingo.

Good civics lesson. 

Later in the day, I glimpsed my first Debbie Medina campaign worker near Irving Square Park. She stood next to a sandwich board plastered with Medina stickers. A handful of Dilan workers stood on either side with their own signs. A minivan pulled in front of the Medina sign and blocked the view from drivers on Knickerbocker Ave. 

Dilan won ~55% to ~38%.