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Why do we use churches as polling places?

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posted on Oct, 12 2008 @ 08:49 PM
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In my district, public votes are often held at churches.

I feel that this is a blatant contradiction of the separation of church and state.

Not only have I experienced members of the particular church attempting to influence my vote, apparently feeling that they "own" my vote because I am casting it on their home turf, I feel that the fact that it is held in a church itself, versus a truly public place that does not espouse one political viewpoint, constitutes a violation.

Does anyone esperience churches used as polling places, and feel the same way?

Please understand I am not bashing the church's beleifs or existance itself, just its interjection in politics.




posted on Oct, 12 2008 @ 08:54 PM
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In Australia, voting is done at schools

I've starred your post because I think you raise some pertinent issues



posted on Oct, 12 2008 @ 08:57 PM
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Oh thank you Dock.

I live in the southen US which tends to be much more conservative---I hope someone from north of me will chime in and say whether this goes on up there, too?



posted on Oct, 12 2008 @ 09:02 PM
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How is voting in a church equivilant to the government establishing a religion?

The 1st Amendment states......

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

You will also be amazed that "the separation of church and state" appears nowhere in the Constitution.

[edit on 12-10-2008 by RRconservative]



posted on Oct, 12 2008 @ 09:09 PM
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My objection is that what is supposed to be a free election, where one is allwoed to vote according to his views, takes place in the meeting place of groups that typically espouse only one political view.

Akin to using a Democratic or Republican headquarters as a polling place.

It's tremendous mental pressure to vote one way or another.

Not to mention I've experienced members of the church in question blatantly trying to influence the voters--such as harassing the people inside who are waiting in line or hanging up posters inside the church telling people to vote one way or the other.

Now also RR I did not say in OP that I thought this was a constitutional violation specifically, but a violation of church and state, a conflict of interest.



posted on Oct, 12 2008 @ 09:17 PM
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Actually I have yet to see a church or synagogue or temple used for polling in NY.

I suppose the 'community' itself is probably selecting the location (could it be that there are no other 'non-commercially available' public places capable of sustaining the human traffic. I can't imagine why they wouldn't use public schools like we do almost exclusively I would bet.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 12:12 AM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 



Originally posted by asmeone2
Not to mention I've experienced members of the church in question blatantly trying to influence the voters--such as harassing the people inside who are waiting in line or hanging up posters inside the church telling people to vote one way or the other.


I'm sorry, I'm going to have to call Bullcrap on that one. It is against the law to do such a thing. Here's an example of Kansas' law:



Kansas has one of the strictest laws in the nation against electioneering at the polls, including specific guidelines about what not to wear.
The law bans “wearing, exhibiting or distributing labels, signs, posters, stickers or other materials that clearly identify a candidate in the election or clearly indicate support or opposition to a ballot question.”
Although it’s been state laws since 1974, voting-rights activists say the electioneering law has more significance this year because of an expected increase in first-time voters.
Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh said he believes the law covers partisan apparel such as the elephant logo of the GOP or a “Democrat and Proud” T-shirt. The outlawed items cannot be worn within 250 feet of the door of the polling place.

www.dodgeglobe.com...

I'm sure your state has similar laws.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 12:18 AM
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Here's what I found in respect to the specific polling place rules for TX:


§ 61.003. ELECTIONEERING AND LOITERING NEAR POLLING PLACE
PROHIBITED. (a) A person commits an offense if, during the voting
period and within 100 feet of an outside door through which a voter
may enter the building in which a polling place is located, the
person:
(1) loiters; or
(2) electioneers for or against any candidate,
measure, or political party.

§ 61.008. UNLAWFULLY INFLUENCING VOTER. (a) A person
commits an offense if the person indicates to a voter in a polling
place by word, sign, or gesture how the person desires the voter to
vote or not vote.

§ 61.010. WEARING NAME TAG OR BADGE IN POLLING PLACE. (a)
Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person may not wear a badge,
insignia, emblem, or other similar communicative device relating to
a candidate, measure, or political party appearing on the ballot,
or to the conduct of the election, in the polling place or within
100 feet of any outside door through which a voter may enter the
building in which the polling place is located.

(from law.onecle.com...)

But of course rules being in place and enforced are two different things.

I'm speaking for my own personal experience... just because those people I saw were in violation of the law doesn't make my experience bull crap.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 02:48 PM
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Where I live in Tn. my registered polling place is in a church as well. It makes no sense to me. It really is not that big with a fairly small parking lot off a major traffic lane. There are 3 schools closer to my house that can definately hold mre people and the parking as well.

Star for the question.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 02:57 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


It sounds like a complaint to your State Attorney General would be in order. Regarding electioneering at a polling place.

[edit on 13-10-2008 by Phage]



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 02:57 PM
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I remember during the 2004 elections, a mother had taken action to prevent schools from being used as polling places. Her reason? Because it would upset her little precious to see all the adults when he went for his lunch break.:shk:



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:21 PM
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I am in South Georgia, and we use churches, schools, fire stations, and community centers as polling places.

And, yes, there are always people from one side or the other outside, waving signs, but they are only allowed at the entrance to the parking lot of the polling place.....nowhere near the entrance of the building. In fact, they cannot be within 25 feet of the entrance of the building by law.

I think the places are used due to convenience factors more than anything else.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:26 PM
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reply to post by jsobecky
 


Just because it is against the law doesn't mean that people don't do it.

If people followed the law the government wouldn't have to send employees out to polling stations to make sure interpretors are provided and no one is discriminated against.



Maybe this is an issue that needs to be brought up. The using of churches.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:28 PM
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There has already been a court case about it in Florida, and the ruling found that using churches did not constitute an endorsement of a religion.

Source




“Rather than having a religious purpose or effect, the placement of a polling precinct at the Church had the primary effect of facilitating a secular election,” Judge Middlebrooks wrote in Rabinowitz v. Anderson.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by nixie_nox
reply to post by jsobecky
 


Just because it is against the law doesn't mean that people don't do it.

If people followed the law the government wouldn't have to send employees out to polling stations to make sure interpretors are provided and no one is discriminated against.



Maybe this is an issue that needs to be brought up. The using of churches.



Breaking of the law is a seperate issue that should be addressed seperately. It has nothing to do with using churches as polling places.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:50 PM
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In the eyes of the Government a church is no different than any other community facility.

No law respecting (with regards to) an establishment of Religion. They should really revisit that Amendment. Too many people are coming to this country thinking they know what it means and they do not. This means that the Government does not recognize a Church as anything more than a not-for-profit organization established according to the laws of this nation.

The Government cannot help you to destroy churches. That is not its job.

[edit on 13-10-2008 by bruxfain]



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 05:12 PM
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Originally posted by bruxfain
In the eyes of the Government a church is no different than any other community facility.

No law respecting (with regards to) an establishment of Religion. They should really revisit that Amendment. Too many people are coming to this country thinking they know what it means and they do not. This means that the Government does not recognize a Church as anything more than a not-for-profit organization established according to the laws of this nation.

The Government cannot help you to destroy churches. That is not its job.

[edit on 13-10-2008 by bruxfain]


My objection is that churches are not truly public places... they cater to people of only one beleif system, and thus espouse one particular political viewpoint.

They are not truly unbiased, in the way that a library or a school or a fiarground would be.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 05:33 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


Your right...

Thats just SO wroung to have voting at a public meeting place...

THey should have them in Bath houses...



My objection is that churches are not truly public places... they cater to people of only one beleif system, and thus espouse one particular political viewpoint.


Oh come on...

They dont question you on your beliefs when you enter...


Ive been in SO MANY diffrent houses of worship...

Christain
Catholic
Prodenstent
Baptist
Black Church
Cinigog
Muslim temple

ALL KINDS...

And not ONCE, not ONCE did ANY OF THEM ask me a single question...

Now, i have only been to church a handful of times in my life... but, i have NEVER been questions upon entering...

[edit on 10/13/2008 by TKainZero]



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 05:37 PM
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I can tell you in California lots of polls are at Churches. Why? Its an avalible space in the Suburbs that is not usally used during the day. In all of that time I have never once had an issue with religious preaching or campaigning at any fo the polling places.

I now vote permanat absentee anyway so I never have to leave home anyway



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 05:47 PM
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Originally posted by asmeone2
My objection is that churches are not truly public places... they cater to people of only one beleif system, and thus espouse one particular political viewpoint.

They are not truly unbiased, in the way that a library or a school or a fiarground would be.


Not so. What about ecumenical or non-denominational churches?



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