New election candidate campaigning guidelines at the Jim Wells County courthouse
Veteran community supporter and city councilmember Sandra Bowen presented concerns on signage placements during early elections at a recent Jim Wells County commissioner's court hearing.
The presentation focused on concerns regulating policy with election candidates and campaign efforts in regards to signage placements close to the two Veterans memorial sites located at the county courthouse.
"During early voting, campaign signs, were moved in front of the veterans memorial and I feel it is a dishonor to their service," said Bowen during the meeting.
County Judge Juan Rodriguez considered the complaints, with the help of the Elections Administrator Richard Guerra. The ordinance was revised and signed on Monday, May 17.
"This ordinance will create a black and white policy for election candidates to adhere and follow while maintaining the respect and honor to the veterans memorial," Guerra said.
- Elections will now have 100-foot distance markers posted in areas surrounding all outside entries to the building. During the voting period, inside this protected area, it is prohibited to electioneer, including expressing a preference for or against any candidate, measure, or political party. A violation of this provision in the Election Code is a Class C misdemeanor.
- Prohibits the use of a sound amplification device to electioneer within 1,000 feet of the early voting polling place; a violation of this provision is a Class C misdemeanor.
- Small yard signs with thin metal “U” or “H” type supports will be permitted outside of the 100-foot distance markers. T-posts, wooden stakes, or large signs are prohibited due to the danger of breaking underground sprinkler lines or heads.
- Curbside voting will be available to voters outside the Cameron St. entrance.
- No tents, canopies, ice chests or BBQ pits will be allowed on Jim Wells County property including sidewalks or parking areas.
- Lawn chairs, umbrellas and handheld signs will be permitted so long as person electioneering do not obstruct a voter’s path to the building along sidewalks and walkways.
- Wheelchair ramps onto the sidewalk and into the building shall remain unobstructed at all times. Sitting on or placing personal items on the Veteran monuments is strictly prohibited.
- Signs shall not obstruct the two Veteran Monuments located on the Courthouse grounds. A boundary projecting outward from the flagpoles on each side of each monument to the adjacent streets shall be the zone in which signs are prohibited. In order to assist with compliance, Courthouse staff shall paint marks to designate the boundary at appropriate points on the sidewalk.
- Persons electioneering outside the building will be responsible for collecting all trash and disposing of it properly at the end of each day.
- Candidates will be responsible for removing all political signs at the end of the early voting period