After receiving feedback following elections earlier in the year, the City of Mission updated the rules and regulations at polling sites for the upcoming general election in November.
At the Oct. 10 Mission City Council meeting, the mayor and council unanimously approved Ordinance 5236, amending Ordinance 4878 regarding electioneering within city property. Electioneering is when someone takes part in the activities of an election campaign to persuade voters in favor of a specific political party. Both politicians and supporters can participate in electioneering.
Mission’s new rules are as follows:
- Political Action Committees can place political signs.
- Feathered flags and additional yard signs are allowed if they are attached to a tent or canopy, or if the signs are handheld.
- Only one 10-by-10 canopy or tent per candidate or PAC is allowed, and it cannot be placed on site earlier than noon before voting begins for early voting or Election Day.
- No trailers or self-standing barbecue pits are allowed at the polling site.
Regarding signage, people can still stick signs in the ground, but they are allowed only three yard signs and one 4-by-8 sign or two 4-by-4 signs. But the number of signs attached to a tent or canopy is unlimited as long as the signs themselves are not staked in the ground.
Mission decided to limit canopy or tent size because, in a previous election, people rented out large tents and left little room for everyone in the allotted space, City Secretary Anna Carrillo said. Additionally, Carrillo said the City decided to ban trailers and barbecue pits because a candidate in a previous election brought a large trailer to the Bannworth Park polling location and tore up the ground in the area.
“I checked with other cities and, you know, they don’t allow barbecuing. There’s some cities that don’t even allow a tent,” the city secretary said. “Basically, [we’re] cleaning house from the concerns that we received in the May and June runoff election. So it’s just cleaning up the ordinance, making it easier for code enforcement.”
The City will issue a warning to initial ordinance violators, but if they continue to disregard the regulations, the City will issue a fine of up to $500 per violation.
Early voting runs from Oct. 24 to Nov. 4. Election Day is Nov. 8.