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Thread: Voting Armed in Ca...

  1. #1
    Newbie cato's Avatar
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    mjones wrote:

    Its illegal in CA (corrections welcome)

    http://leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisga...ction=retrieve

    CALIFORNIA CODES
    ELECTIONS CODE

    18544. (a) Any person in possession of a firearm or any uniformed
    peace officer, private guard, or security personnel or any person who
    is wearing a uniform of a peace officer, guard, or security
    personnel, who is stationed in the immediate vicinity of, or posted
    at, a polling place without written authorization of the appropriate
    city or county elections official is punishable by a fine not
    exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), by imprisonment in the
    state prison for 16 months or two or three years or in a county jail
    not exceeding one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment.
    (b) This section shall not apply to any of the following:
    (1) An unarmed uniformed guard or security personnel who is at the
    polling place to cast his or her vote.
    (2) A peace officer who is conducting official business in the
    course of his or her public employment or who is at the polling place
    to cast his or her vote.
    (3) A private guard or security personnel hired or arranged for by
    a city or county elections official.
    (4) A private guard or security personnel hired or arranged for by
    the owner or manager of the facility or property in which the
    polling place is located if the guard or security personnel is not
    hired or arranged solely for the day on which an election is held.

    Based on a reading of this statute only, you as a votermay carry a firearm at a polling place generally.



    Lets break this down into it's elements that we care about:


    18544. (a) Any person in possession of a firearm...

    who is stationed in the immediate vicinity of, or posted
    at
    , a polling place without written authorization of the appropriate
    city or county elections official is punishable by...(a felony)



    so if you are not stationed or posted...voting armed is NO CRIME in Ca (provided possession is otherwise lawful - ie: not in a government building or school zone etc...).

    Hmmm...is 171b in effect at all polling places?





    note: I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice



  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Just don't loiter. :P

  3. #3
    Newbie cato's Avatar
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    marshaul wrote:
    Just don't loiter. :P
    Yes always keep moving, even zig zag or make circles while in line!

  4. #4
    State Pioneer ConditionThree's Avatar
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    I would be right on this, if it werent for the fact that my voting precinct is a K-12 school...:X
    New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...

    NA MALE SUBJ ON FOOT, LS NB 3 AGO HAD A HOLSTERED HANDGUN ON HIS RIGHT HIP. WAS NOT BRANDISHING THE WEAPON, BUT RP FOUND SUSPICIOUS.
    CL SUBJ IN COMPLIANCE WITH LAW


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  5. #5
    Newbie cato's Avatar
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    find one that is not and vote provisionally...

    don't forget video doc. crew, friendly witnesses, etc...

    um...on second thought wait for incorporation and some favorable carry case law as you'd be toying with a felony on this one.


  6. #6
    State Pioneer ConditionThree's Avatar
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    Yeah, I shouldnt be in such a hurry to find myself in an orange jumpsuit. You can rest easy- Im putting my absentee ballot in the mail today.
    New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...

    NA MALE SUBJ ON FOOT, LS NB 3 AGO HAD A HOLSTERED HANDGUN ON HIS RIGHT HIP. WAS NOT BRANDISHING THE WEAPON, BUT RP FOUND SUSPICIOUS.
    CL SUBJ IN COMPLIANCE WITH LAW


    Support the 2A in California - Shop Amazon for any item and up to 15% of all purchases go back to the Calguns Foundation. Enter through either of the following links
    www.calgunsfoundation.org/amazon
    www.shop42a.com

  7. #7
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    At first look it appears that it is including any person...but it does seem that it is only talking about people that are there for any reason OTHER than to cast a vote. . .

    So there is no PC that makes the polling place a government building?

  8. #8
    Newbie cato's Avatar
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    171(b)(7)(c)As used in this section, "state or local public building"
    means a building that meets all of the following criteria:
    (1) It is a building or part of a building owned or leased by the
    state or local government, if state or local public employees are
    regularly present for the purposes of performing their official
    duties. A state or local public building includes, but is not
    limited to, a building that contains a courtroom.
    (2) It is not a building or facility, or a part thereof, that is
    referred to in
    Section 171c, 171d, 626.9, 626.95, or 626.10 of this
    code, or in Section 18544 of the Elections Code.
    171 (b) (7) (c) (2) says specifically above that a polling place ( as in section 18544) is not a publicbuilding as defined in 171b.

  9. #9
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    Great info Cato, thanks for researching that.

    I usually vote absentee, but I think I might just find a polling place where I can open carry this year...
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  10. #10
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    CA_Libertarian wrote:
    Great info Cato, thanks for researching that.

    I usually vote absentee, but I think I might just find a polling place where I can open carry this year...
    Um...I thought you might

    So plan ahead this time. And have some unarmed back-up OK? Do a youtube video.

    I wonder if the Sac Ter. Center can get out a memo before 11/04 on this? Maybe you should give them a call?

  11. #11
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    guys, i may be reading it totally wrong, but i'm not interpreting it the same way you guys are. it seems to me that it's broken up into TWO categories, both of which are illegal.

    1) Any person in possession of a firearm

    2) or any uniformed peace officer, private guard, or security personnel or any person who is wearing a uniform of a peace officer, guard, or security personnel, who is stationed in the immediate vicinity of, or posted at, a polling place without written authorization of the appropriate city or county elections official...


    the uniformed peace officer, private guard, etc. part makes no mention of they being armed. it just mentions being "posted" at the polling place.

    so it seems to me that they're saying "any person" is an average citizen in plain clothes.

    i'm reading as this: "no average citizen in plain clothes can carry a gun, and no uniformed people can be posted at, a polling place"

    am i totally misreading it?

  12. #12
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    TheCiscoKid wrote:
    guys, i may be reading it totally wrong, but i'm not interpreting it the same way you guys are. it seems to me that it's broken up into TWO categories, both of which are illegal.


    am i totally misreading it?

    You are correct there are twogroups subject to the lawand the uniformedgroup does not have to be armed to be in violation. But botharerequired to be stationed or posted to complete the elements of the crime.

    Read it like this and notice the comma before "who":

    CALIFORNIA CODES
    ELECTIONS CODE

    18544. (a) Any person in possession of a firearm

    or any uniformed
    peace officer, private guard, or security personnel or any person who
    is wearing a uniform of a peace officer, guard, or security
    personnel,

    who is stationed in the immediate vicinity of, or posted
    at, a polling place
    without written authorization of the appropriate
    city or county elections official is punishable by a...

    If you are registered to vote at that polling place and you are there only for as much time as it takes to vote I don't see how this applies to that voter.


    This is not legal advise.

  13. #13
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    My interpretation actually lists 3 categories of persons - it's all about placement of the words "or":

    18544. (a) Any person in possession of a firearm

    or

    any uniformed peace officer, private guard, or security personnel [this is a series within the series]

    or

    any person who is wearing a uniform of a peace officer, guard, or security personnel,

    who is stationed in the immediate vicinity of, or posted at, a polling place without written authorization of the appropriate city or county elections official is punishable by...

    This last part applies to all 3 categories. The legislature is obviously trying to cover all persons who might be posted at a polling place with this statute. The legislature wants to make sure such stationed/posted persons are not (1) armed, (2) uniformed LE or guards, or (3) impersonating LE or guards.

    Of course, this sort of sentence structure would earn a solid "F" in any English class, even in CA public schools. Sadly, this is one of the better articulated statutes I've seen.
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  14. #14
    Regular Member demnogis's Avatar
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    Be cautious as there are many polling places "just close enough" to a school, or even on school grounds. My old polling place had two options for my county:
    1) In the gymnasium of my old highschool.
    2) The church auditorium which was right across the street from #1.

    Both instances would be illegal.
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  15. #15
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    Heres another factor, what about the guys who are CCW-ing?

    If they can carry, why can't we ? They are in "Possession" of a firearm.

    Robin47

  16. #16
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    Hey guys. The way I'm reading it, it seems that this whole section is intended to protect voters from intimidation (since this section does fall under the"Intimidation of Voters" section). So unless you go there armed and stand around; in or out of uniform; without consent, it should not be an issue for you to go and vote while OC'ing. But as mentioned earlier, keep in mind where the polling place is.

    Not legal advice.

    :celebratePeanut butter jelly time!

  17. #17
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    LE guy wrote:
    Hey guys. The way I'm reading it, it seems that this whole section is intended to protect voters from intimidation (since this section does fall under the"Intimidation of Voters" section). So unless you go there armed and stand around; in or out of uniform; without consent, it should not be an issue for you to go and vote while OC'ing. But as mentioned earlier, keep in mind where the polling place is.

    Not legal advice.

    :celebratePeanut butter jelly time!
    I do have to agree with this. I belive the statute was more trying to prevent the illusion that the current power was trying to exert or influence peoples' vote or even prevent people from voting through means of intimidation. .

    I.e. the local sheriff is up for re-election and he has sheriffs standing at each polling place looking for a reason to prevent someone from voting for the opponent.

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