Mesquite polling location yields complaints of voter intimidation

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There have been several complaints about voter intimidation at a Mesquite polling station. Some voters say they felt intimidated by campaign workers as they walked inside.

The Dallas County Elections Office says it has fielded phone calls and emails about the location. Some people complained that they’re being harassed by aggressive campaign workers.

At the Lakeside Activities Center Monday in Mesquite, voters have found it’s nearly impossible to get from the parking lot to the front door of the polling station without being bombarded by candidates and campaign workers from both sides of the aisle. They are ready with a handshake and a pamphlet. There’s also the signage that is impossible to ignore. The opening for the entrance is very small.

“Having people come up to you to hand you things all in your face is not very good,” said voter Florene Adams. “But we do need the literature.”

Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole says while her office has fielded complaints, there’s not much it can do.

“We don’t have any type of authority,” she said. “That becomes the city’s authority. That’s their parking lot. That’s their location.”

The signs and electioneering may be annoying to some, but Pippins-Poole says if they’re beyond 100 feet from the door of the polling place that they’re permitted and out of her office’s jurisdictions.

However, a city can have its own ordinances governing what’s acceptable beyond the 100-foot mark at polling sites on city property.

While a FOX 4 crew was at the polling location, Mesquite PD responded to a disagreement over the 100-foot mark.

Not everyone has an issue with what they’ve encountered, like first-time voter Naomi Edegbe.

“They are doing their thing. They’re doing their job, and I can’t be mad at them for it,” she said.

Pippins-Poole says her office has had discussions with the city of Mesquite about addressing the issue. In the meantime, she says voters should call police to respond if they feel harassed.