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Election facts to know before heading to the polls

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Posted at 6:33 PM, Nov 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-07 21:33:49-05

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8, and many people on the Central Coast have already cast their votes.

But for those still waiting to vote, there are some things you may not know as you head to the polls.

For example, there are rules about what you can and can not wear to the polls.

“Wearing political clothing is absolutely not allowed. There’s no electioneering allowed within 100 feet of a polling place and of course that includes the polling place," said Joe Holland, Santa Barbara County Clerk-Recorder.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in California, voters may not wear campaign apparel, buttons, stickers, or placards.

Voters also may not carry any campaign material that can influence other voters.

“If you had the name of a candidate on your shirt or hat, you’re not allowed to wear that to a polling place," Holland said.

You don’t want to get caught wearing this merchandise because, depending on the severity, it could be a felony.

Wondering if you can get paid time off work to vote? In California, the answer is "yes". However, there’s no federal law mandating employers to give workers time to go vote.

“The "Time Off to Vote Act" and a number of national standards are stuck in the Senate. They are part of more of a more ominous bill called the "Freedom to Vote Act" that the Senate Democrats tried to pass this session and didn’t get enough Republican support," said Michael Latner, Cal Poly political science professor.

Each state has its own rules. According to the California Secretary of State's website, employers must post a notice to employees 10 days before a statewide election.

“You did need proof of voting. So that can be a ticket stub on your ballot or the receipt from your ballot and some employers might even want you to have your 'I Voted' sticker," Latner said.

Employees are eligible for paid time off for the purpose of voting and employees can be given as much time as they need but only a maximum of two hours is paid.

If you’re in line at a polling place when the polls close at 8 p.m. on Election Day, you’ll still be allowed to vote. But if you show up after 8 p.m., you’ll be turned away.