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Thread: Finally got the skinny on USNA69's situation with OC and voting in Norfolk.

  1. #1
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Finally got the skinny on USNA69's situation with OC and voting in Norfolk.

    ok, as promised, my FOIA request to the State Board of Elections was answered quickly. Here is the wording in the document that USNA69 was shown about carrying in a polling place.

    "If someone is known to have a weapon, and is not a sworn law enforcement official displaying their badge, or a person displaying a valid Virginia concealed weapons permit, have more than one election official approach the individual together and simply ask him to leave the weapon outside. If the person does not immediately comply, have an election official call 9-1-1 and report the incident. All unsafe or threatening behavior should be reported to 9-1-1.

    Unsafe behavior may include the following:

    o Display of multiple or unusual weapons
    o Display of a weapon in a position in which it could be used.
    o Shoving, pushing, unnecessary physical contact, abusive language or gestures.
    o Statements that contain violent descriptions.

    Do not get personally involved if you believe that an assault is occurring. Instead, call 9-1-1 and complete the Incident Report.


    The section of the manual does not specifically address the term OC, since (as usual) most people probably don't know what OC even is.

    Since there are quite a few variables that could be present in this situation (an armed citizen voting), it'll take me a few days to re-write this. They seem very receptive to the idea of a re-write so that they are putting the correct info out to their people. Its an easy fix and this will lead to the poll workers state-wide receiving the correct training in this situation.
    James Reynolds

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    What is their basis for requiring a person to leave/take the weapon outside before they can vote? Is that a part of the problem that you are going to fix?

    TFred

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    What is their basis for requiring a person to leave/take the weapon outside before they can vote? Is that a part of the problem that you are going to fix?

    TFred
    I guess that you could say the basis is simply that they only thought that there were 2 groups who could carry, LEO's and CHP holders. As I said, most people don't even know what OC is or that it is legal so in their mind, OC didn't exist as a possibility. I'm making that correction.
    James Reynolds

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  4. #4
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    I guess that you could say the basis is simply that they only thought that there were 2 groups who could carry, LEO's and CHP holders. As I said, most people don't even know what OC is or that it is legal so in their mind, OC didn't exist as a possibility. I'm making that correction.
    Ah, I see that now. That'll be quite a jump for them. Hopefully not too much of a shock.

    TFred

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Ah, I see that now. That'll be quite a jump for them. Hopefully not too much of a shock.

    TFred
    Actually, they were very receptive to the idea of a proper correction. They very much want to promote fair access to the polls and certainly don't want to restrict anyone's ability to vote. When I explained the OC situation as it happened in Norfolk, they were surprised since this has never come up before.
    James Reynolds

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    Lone Star Veteran DrMark's Avatar
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    Sounds like someone openly carrying is not really deemed to be doing anything wrong if they wish to continue carrying. At least, no crime is indicated by the carrying.

    Official: "Will you leave it in your car, please?"
    Carrier: "No thanks, ma'am."
    Official: "Okay, have a nice day."

    The official is then supposed to call 911 to file a report.

    Seems that in addition to open carriers, the police would want this cleared up. The guidance is requiring officials to call 911 when there is no emergency.

    Overall, that's a pretty bizarre instruction.

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    Regular Member USNA69's Avatar
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    Great Work

    Kudos to all for taking positive steps to correct the wording of the Commonwealth guidance to poll officials.


    I feel honored to have started this ball rolling. And, I was not even carrying. I was merely speaking hypothetically to the Chief Election Officer at my polling place.

  8. #8
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrMark View Post
    Sounds like someone openly carrying is not really deemed to be doing anything wrong if they wish to continue carrying. At least, no crime is indicated by the carrying.

    Official: "Will you leave it in your car, please?"
    Carrier: "No thanks, ma'am."
    Official: "Okay, have a nice day."

    The official is then supposed to call 911 to file a report.

    Seems that in addition to open carriers, the police would want this cleared up. The guidance is requiring officials to call 911 when there is no emergency.

    Overall, that's a pretty bizarre instruction.
    I think ProShooter's assessment in his earlier post explains it well. The rules were written incorrectly with no provision for legal OC. If the author assumed that a CHP was required for a non-LEO to carry at all, then it makes perfect sense to call the police when a weapon is discovered and the person has no CHP.

    Hopefully the CHP reference will disappear altogether. As it is now, it raises an interesting question since the CHP code says the only person you are required to display your CHP to is a LEO.

    I'm happy to hear that they are eager to correct this. Think of all the poll workers who will now be trained to the fact that OC is legal and normal.

    I've overheard comments made by some of my poll workers while standing in line to vote, and I can tell you that some of them are in for quite a shock.

    TFred

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    I think ProShooter's assessment in his earlier post explains it well. The rules were written incorrectly with no provision for legal OC. If the author assumed that a CHP was required for a non-LEO to carry at all, then it makes perfect sense to call the police when a weapon is discovered and the person has no CHP.
    I wonder under what auspices a private citizen would be convinced to accede to the request of another private citizen to produce their CHP.

    Under state code only law enforcement can make such a demand.

    A poll worker is not a law enforcement officer unless, as I queried elsewhere, such person has been designated under § 24.2-606.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    I wonder under what auspices a private citizen would be convinced to accede to the request of another private citizen to produce their CHP.

    Under state code only law enforcement can make such a demand.

    A poll worker is not a law enforcement officer unless, as I queried elsewhere, such person has been designated under § 24.2-606.
    i was wondering the same thing wydle. If somebody without a badge demands a CHP from me I will not provide it to them.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

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    Regular Member oldbanger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    ...or a person displaying a valid Virginia concealed weapons permit...

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    Regular Member sccrref's Avatar
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    I display my valid CHP in my wallet until asked for it by a LEO.
    Last edited by sccrref; 11-10-2010 at 08:37 PM.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundar View Post
    If somebody without a badge demands a CHP from me I will not provide it to them.
    +1

    That would be no different from someone in a parking lot demanding to view your driver's license or vehicle registration just because he felt you took "his" parking space.
    Last edited by Mt Vernon .40; 11-12-2010 at 08:08 AM. Reason: Fat fingering

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    Regular Member KaosDad's Avatar
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    This assumes the polling place is NOT a school or church. Correct? Wouldn't either of those cases make th rest of the argument moot under current law?
    "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." B. Franklin

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaosDad View Post
    This assumes the polling place is NOT a school or church. Correct? Wouldn't either of those cases make th rest of the argument moot under current law?
    You cannot carry in a school but the church issue is only when there is a meeting for religious purposes taking place. Voting doesn't fall under that.
    James Reynolds

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    ... but the church issue is only when there is a meeting for religious purposes taking place. Voting doesn't fall under that.
    And then the church statute only applies without good and sufficient reason.

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    Church/school problem

    Unfortunately, almost all churches in VA have a K-12 Sunday School and some have a preschool that includes kindergarten. We have yet to obtain a definitive opinion on the difference (if any) between "school grounds" and "church grounds". Most parish halls are separated into the "school" area and the parish business area. Until we are sure that we aren't on "school grounds" just by stepping onto church property, caution is indicated. I spoke with AG Ken Cuccinelli on this topic at the TLP meeting in VA Bch., and he is open to looking at it...

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnfenter View Post
    Unfortunately, almost all churches in VA have a K-12 Sunday School and some have a preschool that includes kindergarten. We have yet to obtain a definitive opinion on the difference (if any) between "school grounds" and "church grounds". Most parish halls are separated into the "school" area and the parish business area. Until we are sure that we aren't on "school grounds" just by stepping onto church property, caution is indicated. I spoke with AG Ken Cuccinelli on this topic at the TLP meeting in VA Bch., and he is open to looking at it...
    Unfortunately, now that Mr. Cuccinelli is now the AG and no longer a member of the GA (ha ha, get it, his role has been "reversed!"), his opinion is just that, an opinion, and as far as I can tell, not even worth the cost of the piece of paper that it's written on.

    TFred

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    Quote Originally Posted by KaosDad View Post
    This assumes the polling place is NOT a school or church. Correct? Wouldn't either of those cases make th rest of the argument moot under current law?
    Is a school building a school, when school is not in session?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mariner View Post
    Is a school building a school, when school is not in session?
    Code of Virginia does not limit/address only when school is in session.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

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    Activist Member Wolf_shadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Code of Virginia does not limit/address only when school is in session.
    Might be something to look at this session. The BOS over has a habit of using a school building for meetings if they think turn out will be more that the BOS Chamber in the County Admin Building.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnfenter View Post
    Unfortunately, almost all churches in VA have a K-12 Sunday School and some have a preschool that includes kindergarten. We have yet to obtain a definitive opinion on the difference (if any) between "school grounds" and "church grounds". Most parish halls are separated into the "school" area and the parish business area. Until we are sure that we aren't on "school grounds" just by stepping onto church property, caution is indicated. I spoke with AG Ken Cuccinelli on this topic at the TLP meeting in VA Bch., and he is open to looking at it...
    Unless you can find a code citation that includes a Sunday School into the meaning of "elementary school, middle school or high school" within the context of Virginia Legislative Code 18.2-308 I would hardly think Sunday School fits the restriction.

    If the church has a kindergarten then that would meet the requirements of an elementary school, but not a Sunday School.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf_shadow View Post
    Might be something to look at this session. The BOS over has a habit of using a school building for meetings if they think turn out will be more that the BOS Chamber in the County Admin Building.
    What municipality?
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Activist Member Wolf_shadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    What municipality?
    Accomack County but I am sure they are not the only ones. I seam to remember someone else complaining about it a while back.

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    Up to you

    Quote Originally Posted by jmelvin View Post
    Unless you can find a code citation that includes a Sunday School into the meaning of "elementary school, middle school or high school" within the context of Virginia Legislative Code 18.2-308 I would hardly think Sunday School fits the restriction.

    If the church has a kindergarten then that would meet the requirements of an elementary school, but not a Sunday School.
    Do you want to gamble your freedom on that interpretation? The law is silent on whether or not the "school" has to be full time or accredited; it just has to be a "religious" school. Most Sunday Schools encompass K-12 classes. Your call...

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