Toeing the 100-Foot Line

Hamilton County Board of Elections Executive Director Sally Krisel calls it the most common election-day problem: “We have to strictly follow the 100-foot rule.”

Election law prohibits protesters, proponents and campaigning volunteers from setting up signs or handing out information within 100 feet of a polling place. The rule, Krisel explains, is enforced by the volunteer staff at the polling sites.—-

“I can’t control the sidewalks,” says Hume Simpson, deputy judge for Precinct A in the 15th Ward. “If they’re walking, there’s not much we can do.”

At around 2:30, Hume spotted a pair of campaign boosters holding a sign and handing out leaflets too close to the polls. He calmly walked over to the couple and pointed to an area, marked with flags, that had been approved as a place for them to set up. They moved peacefully, and he later said that was the only infraction he’d had to address all day.

“We’ve never really had to call (the Board of Elections) for problems,” he says.

That reflects Krisel’s view of the issue.

“Usually, the poll workers take care of it,” she says.

Contributor Harrison Kreimer reports for the NMB, a collaborative local news bureau based at the University of Cincinnati. Learn more at

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