Richmond police are warning political campaigners to stay 100 feet from polling sites or risk arrest following widespread complaints of voter intimidation in the city.
Police have responded to reports of residents being intimated into voting a particular way at polling sites at Veteran’s Memorial Hall and Easter Hill United Methodist Church, Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said.
California election code section 18541 bars electioneering, including attempting to dissuade someone from voting in a certain fashion, within 100 feet of a polling site, Abektov said. It is a misdemeanor offense.
Officials at the Richmond City Council Chambers and City Clerk’s Office reported receiving numerous complaints that supporters of Team Richmond, candidates supported by the Richmond Progressive Alliance, have been harassing voters.
One voter told the Richmond Standard she was intimidated by “Green Party representatives” at a Marina Bay polling site.
They “harassed me to and from my car” and “told me I was stupid and uninformed,” said Kimberly, who didn’t want her last name used for this report for fear of further intimidation.
Abetkov said police have been dealing with it all day.
“We’ve gone out there, at two locations, and have actually taken a tape measure and measured 100 feet from the polling room,” Abetkov said. “It’s unfortunate that we’re having to go out there and take tape measurement out and measure it. People should not feel that they are being threatened, harassed or dissuaded.”