Illinois Statutes Chapter 10. Elections § 5/17-29. Political activities within polling places
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§ 17-29. (a) No judge of election, pollwatcher, or other person shall, at any primary or election, do any electioneering or soliciting of votes or engage in any political discussion within any polling place, within 100 feet of any polling place, or, at the option of a church or private school, on any of the property of that church or private school that is a polling place; no person shall interrupt, hinder or oppose any voter while approaching within those areas for the purpose of voting. Judges of election shall enforce the provisions of this Section.
(b) Election officers shall place 2 or more cones, small United States national flags, or some other marker a distance of 100 horizontal feet from each entrance to the room used by voters to engage in voting, which shall be known as the polling room. If the polling room is located within a building that is a private business, a public or private school, or a church or other organization founded for the purpose of religious worship and the distance of 100 horizontal feet ends within the interior of the building, then the markers shall be placed outside of the building at each entrance used by voters to enter that building on the grounds adjacent to the thoroughfare or walkway. If the polling room is located within a public or private building with 2 or more floors and the polling room is located on the ground floor, then the markers shall be placed 100 horizontal feet from each entrance to the polling room used by voters to engage in voting. If the polling room is located in a public or private building with 2 or more floors and the polling room is located on a floor above or below the ground floor, then the markers shall be placed a distance of 100 feet from the nearest elevator or staircase used by voters on the ground floor to access the floor where the polling room is located. The area within where the markers are placed shall be known as a campaign free zone, and electioneering is prohibited pursuant to this subsection. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, a church or private school may choose to apply the campaign free zone to its entire property, and, if so, the markers shall be placed near the boundaries on the grounds adjacent to the thoroughfares or walkways leading to the entrances used by the voters. If an election authority maintains a website, no later than 5 days before election day, each election authority shall post on its website the name and address of every polling place designated as a campaign free zone. This information shall be immediately provided to any person upon request, and a requester shall not be required to submit a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
The area on polling place property beyond the campaign free zone, whether publicly or privately owned, is a public forum for the time that the polls are open on an election day. At the request of election officers any publicly owned building must be made available for use as a polling place. A person shall have the right to congregate and engage in electioneering on any polling place property while the polls are open beyond the campaign free zone, including but not limited to, the placement of temporary signs. This subsection shall be construed liberally in favor of persons engaging in electioneering on all polling place property beyond the campaign free zone for the time that the polls are open on an election day. At or near the door of each polling place, the election judges shall place signage indicating the proper entrance to the polling place. In addition, the election judges shall ensure that a sign identifying the location of the polling place is placed on a nearby public roadway. The State Board of Elections shall establish guidelines for the placement of polling place signage.
(c) The regulation of electioneering on polling place property on an election day, including but not limited to the placement of temporary signs, is an exclusive power and function of the State. A home rule unit may not regulate electioneering and any ordinance or local law contrary to subsection (c) is declared void. This is a denial and limitation of home rule powers and functions under subsection (h) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution .
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