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Issue while voting

REDFIVE48

Regular Member
Joined
May 17, 2010
Messages
255
Location
Charlotte, NC
Was voting in Charlotte at my local polling place (a church) yesterday while OC my Glock 43. I filled out the first form where you list your name and address and sign it and was directed to the tables to get my ballot. While waiting in line for my ballot, a poll worker approached me very aggressively stating I wasn't allowed to have my firearm with me. I asked what law that was that he was trying to enforce. At this point he yells for the Chief Judge of the polling location and informs him I have my firearm. The Chief Judge then comes over in a loud and aggressive manner telling me I can't have the firearm, so I ask what law that is to him. He proceeds to tell me I can't have it in a polling location - I reply that I can. He says I can't have it in a church - I reply I can. He says I can't have it in a bank - I reply I can.

At this point they are not allowing me to vote and are attempting to take the paper form I filled out and signed. I refuse to allow them to have it back as I continue my discussion.

I ask if there was a sign at this location posted prohibiting it that I may have not seen on my way in, he takes me to a table in the foyer with a big election poll location listing saying this location is protected or reserved or something, not quite sure. Again, I see no posting prohibiting firearms, but I have things to do and want to cast my ballot so I walk outside while they are following me. I stop outside the entrance door as I don't have the keys to the vehicle as my wife has them and she is inside casting her ballot. They begin to get excited again, and the original poll worker is recording while we are outside, saying I'm not allowed to have the first form I filled in with my name and signature as it's their property and its a crime, now my second crime. I tell the Chief Judge to come and take it from me, at which point he says 'Oh, you're going to shoot me', to which I calmly reply 'No, I'm not going to shoot you'. He instead chooses to pull out his phone and call 9-1-1.

Fortunately he didn't lie to them when 9-1-1 asked if I was being aggressive, he said no since I was calm the whole time.

My wife then exits the polls and asks if I would like her to put the gun away in the car so I can vote. I remove the holster (with the gun in it) from my belt, hand it to her, and walk inside to get my ballot. After I went inside, the Chief Judge got off the phone with 9-1-1 and went over to my wifes car and started taking pictures of it. While my wife was waiting for me, a woman who I think was behind me originally in line, told her this was ridiculous, and she was a CCW holder.

Inside, I was given my ballot and I walked over to a voting machine. The original poll worker came over and assisted me in getting the machine set up for my ballot. At this point I see the Chief Judge walk to the ballot table and talk to the person who gave me my ballot, I assume to get her to tell him who I was based off the voter rolls she used. He then came over and took the piece of paper with my name and address and signature on it that the poll worker used to set up the voting machine and disappeared off to some other part of the business. When he approached the worker I asked if the police were on the way or if he was still ignorant. He responded aggressively again but can't be certain what it was he said.

I finished voting, got my ballot from the machine, entered it into the scanning machine, grabbed my 'I voted' sticker and departed.

This morning I called CMPD records to get the case number of the 9-1-1 call and then emailed the records division for the 9-1-1 recording and any body worn camera footage there may be related to the incident. I was not recording as apparently that isn't allowed at voting locations either. The records division did say that no police report was filed. I did take a picture of the Chief Judges name tag (so I would have his name for my complaint), and the funny thing is he appears to live about a block away from me in my neighborhood.

Thoughts on next steps or anything else on how it was handled?
 

Brian D.

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
931
Location
Cincy area, Ohio, USA
I hope someone with helpful knowledge for you, specific to this situation, will drop by and post up.

The reason I am participating is that a friend of mine had a slightly similar run in with a northern Kentucky poll worker yesterday. Well, actually, she kept calling herself the polling "Marshal" as she was arguing with my friend. Long story short as possible, my friend has a food truck he sets up at a fraternal organization's parking lot on a semi regular basis. He's got a contract with them that includes several parking spaces. But when he got there, the poll workers were using them because the club also is a polling place on election days.

He politely asked them to move, and the Marshal got up on her high horse (pun intended) to argue about it. She called the sheriff's office on him, he called his friend the local police chief. Things got worked out in the BBQ guy's favor.

It was one of those times you think "If this was in a movie script, no way could you buy it as real." Talk about a title going to someone's head, geez!
 

color of law

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
5,822
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
I hope someone with helpful knowledge for you, specific to this situation, will drop by and post up.

The reason I am participating is that a friend of mine had a slightly similar run in with a northern Kentucky poll worker yesterday. Well, actually, she kept calling herself the polling "Marshal" as she was arguing with my friend. Long story short as possible, my friend has a food truck he sets up at a fraternal organization's parking lot on a semi regular basis. He's got a contract with them that includes several parking spaces. But when he got there, the poll workers were using them because the club also is a polling place on election days.

He politely asked them to move, and the Marshal got up on her high horse (pun intended) to argue about it. She called the sheriff's office on him, he called his friend the local police chief. Things got worked out in the BBQ guy's favor.

It was one of those times you think "If this was in a movie script, no way could you buy it as real." Talk about a title going to someone's head, geez!
Also had a friend call me from KY as he was walking out of his voting place being told he could not carry. They were going to call the police. He told them to go ahead. His son came out who was also carrying and they left.
 

Tess

Founder's Club Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
3,834
Location
Alexandria, Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
IANAL, nor am I intimately familiar with NC laws. I wonder if a case could be made based on

"§ 14-277.2. Weapons at parades, etc., prohibited.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person participating in, affiliated with, or present as a spectator at any parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration upon any private health care facility or upon any public place owned or under the control of the State or any of its political subdivisions to willfully or intentionally possess or have immediate access to any dangerous weapon. Violation of this subsection shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor. It shall be presumed that any rifle or gun carried on a rack in a pickup truck at a holiday parade or in a funeral procession does not violate the terms of this act."

Note the "public place owned or under the control of the State or any of its political subdivisions". During an election, is the polling place "under the control of the State"? Seems a very weak argument to me, but as I say.

MORE likely, given he thought you couldn't carry in a church or bank or ..., that he just figured "any place that's important" is off limits.
 

REDFIVE48

Regular Member
Joined
May 17, 2010
Messages
255
Location
Charlotte, NC
IANAL, nor am I intimately familiar with NC laws. I wonder if a case could be made based on

"§ 14-277.2. Weapons at parades, etc., prohibited.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person participating in, affiliated with, or present as a spectator at any parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration upon any private health care facility or upon any public place owned or under the control of the State or any of its political subdivisions to willfully or intentionally possess or have immediate access to any dangerous weapon. Violation of this subsection shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor. It shall be presumed that any rifle or gun carried on a rack in a pickup truck at a holiday parade or in a funeral procession does not violate the terms of this act."

Note the "public place owned or under the control of the State or any of its political subdivisions". During an election, is the polling place "under the control of the State"? Seems a very weak argument to me, but as I say.

MORE likely, given he thought you couldn't carry in a church or bank or ..., that he just figured "any place that's important" is off limits.
I too am not a lawyer, but I do read what lawyers say:
Can I bring my gun with me to vote? It depends on where you vote. There’s nothing in Chapter 163 of the General Statutes (Elections and Election Laws) that prohibits bringing a firearm to a polling place. North Carolina is not unique in this regard. According to the Washington Post, a majority of states are in the same boat. However, polling places are often in schools, where G.S. 14-269.2 makes it a crime to possess a firearm, or in other local government buildings where local ordinances may prohibit the possession of guns. Some polling places are on private property, in which case the person or entity in charge of that property may bar firearms from the premises. Finally, any use of a firearm to menace or threaten a voter would of course be unlawful. Among other provisions that such conduct would violate, G.S. 163-274(6) and 18 U.S.C. § 594 make voter intimidation a state and a federal crime.

 

solus

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
9,302
Location
here nc
first, do you have a nc privilege card issued by your county sheriff? This is an overview from your laws of deadly force training segment.

quote:
Although a person may have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, permittees are not authorized to carry the permitted weapon anywhere they desire. The weapon may not be carried in the following:
1. Areas prohibited by G.S. § 14-277.2 (Picket lines or demonstrations);
2. Areas prohibited by G.S. § 14-269.4 (Certain State properties such as courthouses);
3. Areas prohibited by rules adopted under G.S. § 120-32.1 (Legislative buildings);
4. Areas prohibited by 18 USC § 922 or any other federal law;
5. Any law enforcement agency or correctional facility;
6. Areas housing only State or federal offices;
7. An office of the State or federal government that is not located in a building exclusively occupied by the State or federal government;
8. Any premises where notice that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited by the posting of a conspicuous notice, or statement by the person in legal possession or control of the premises; or
9. School grounds under G.S. § 14-269.2, except permittees can secure their handguns in their vehicle on school grounds. (Note: Private schools reserve the right to prohibit firearms altogether.)

As provided in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-269.4(5), it is lawful for any person to carry a firearm openly,

North Carolina General Statute § 14-415.23 provides that no political subdivisions, boards, or agencies of the State nor any county, city, municipality, municipal corporation, town, township, village, nor any department or agency thereof, may enact ordinances, rules, or regulations concerning legally carrying a concealed handgun. A unit of local government may, however, adopt an ordinance to permit the posting of a prohibition against carrying a concealed handgun in local government buildings and their appurtenant premises. A unit of local government may adopt an ordinance to prohibit, by posting, the carrying of a concealed handgun on municipal and county recreational facilities that are specifically identified by the unit of local government. Unquote

while older, the current nc ag has not updated guidebook...
 

solus

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
9,302
Location
here nc
Continued...

now the nonsense about the banks being statutory prohibited by statute was removed by nc legislation years ago, they now must put up signs saying no firearms Like every other business.

church is not statutorily prohibited unless signage is posted.

you have a choice...formally report the 'judge' to election officials in writing w/o being so emotional in your commentary e.g., not personally negative...stick to the facts...this stated...what do you want done ~ an apology Or...?

worse that will occur is a sign will be put up stating no open/concealed firearms allowed...

based on your tone & tenor in your posting(s) ~ be thankful the nice LEs didn't respond as you might/could of gotten cited for disturbing the peace...
 

REDFIVE48

Regular Member
Joined
May 17, 2010
Messages
255
Location
Charlotte, NC
Continued...

now the nonsense about the banks being statutory prohibited by statute was removed by nc legislation years ago, they now must put up signs saying no firearms Like every other business.

church is not statutorily prohibited unless signage is posted.

you have a choice...formally report the 'judge' to election officials in writing w/o being so emotional in your commentary e.g., not personally negative...stick to the facts...this stated...what do you want done ~ an apology Or...?

worse that will occur is a sign will be put up stating no open/concealed firearms allowed...

based on your tone & tenor in your posting(s) ~ be thankful the nice LEs didn't respond as you might/could of gotten cited for disturbing the peace...
I appreciate the feedback, perhaps you can elaborate on your post a bit for me as I am not sure I understand your message?
To answer your original question, I do indeed have an NC CCW card issued by my county's sheriff (Mecklenburg).

I assume you are posting the listing of statutes and prohibited places just for general reference since none apply and I previously stated the church was not posted, or if it was, it wasn't conspicuously posted so that I could see it or they could show it to me during the conversation.

I would like to understand your reasoning for a disturbing the peace citation, where I think you actually mean § 14-288.4. Disorderly conduct?

Thank you for the recommendation on the structure of a formal report should I choose to do it. In your opinion, do you think it will actually serve any purpose, or is the political structure of the state such that it will only serve to be a pointless exercise? I would actually prefer a no weapons sign posted than confrontations with people who may or may not be proper representatives of the property owner making up their own rules. Do you believe there is a chance that a Disorderly citation could result as a result of an official complaint?
 

solus

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
9,302
Location
here nc
Ok, remember INAL ~ but reviewing NC statutes, [not local ordinances which shouldn't be in place!] shows there is no statutory specificities regarding conceal/open carry in election polling venues.

that stated...if the polling venue is a school or posted w/signage or other 'off limits' facility -- forbidden!

however, i may have misspoke regarding disturbing the peace...the true charge could be the vague "voter intimidation" nonsense which is vague at best and up to interpretation cuz someone wearing an campaign button/sticker on a vehicle/ad nauseam could provoke the nice LEs to be called!

finally, remember, the poll worker lack providence but the chief judge, who would be considered in charge of the polling venue could, w/o ceremony, tell you to leave, and if you refuse, call nice LEs and sign paperwork charging you with criminal trespass!

now consider you must expend time, energy, and $$$ to judicially defend yourself in the courts...
 

color of law

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
5,822
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
.......
finally, remember, the poll worker lack providence but the chief judge, who would be considered in charge of the polling venue could, w/o ceremony, tell you to leave, and if you refuse, call nice LEs and sign paperwork charging you with criminal trespass!

now consider you must expend time, energy, and $$$ to judicially defend yourself in the courts...
Not necessarily so. NC constitution states specifically what an elector is. If an elector appears at the poll to vote he/she cannot be trespassed. Not even a dead republican asking for a democratic ballot.
 

REDFIVE48

Regular Member
Joined
May 17, 2010
Messages
255
Location
Charlotte, NC
In preparation for the complaints I am contemplating filing with state and county boards of elections investigations divisions, so far have not been able to get the recordings of the 9-1-1 call or any cameras present, but I had an email exchange with the responding officer to the scene (I think he believed he was emailing with the complainant for some reason). I did like the following bit from him:

Officer:
Good Afternoon Sir,
A report was not completed however, I did document that we spoke and that the subject left the incident location. Any Body Worn Camera or other evidence would be acquired through the courthouse uptown. You can give them a call and see what is required to fill out to attempt to obtain that evidence. I am not versed in the court procedures for that matter. Have a fantastic day!


My response:
Thank you Officer. Is there any indication of what the possible crime was in relation to the call for service?
Have a nice day.


Officers response:
Well, a report was not completed because the elements of a crime were not met. In this case, we type the comments of the call for service in our police system and clear it out after speaking with the complainant. Which was me speaking with you.

Bolding of above was done by me. I wanted to try and get from him the possible crime he was called out to investigate, which I still am not sure of because the call for service dispatch code was 'WP-PRSN' which stands for "armed person on the scene". It had a subtype of 'SUSP-SCN' but they didn't define what that was, suspicious person maybe?
 

REDFIVE48

Regular Member
Joined
May 17, 2010
Messages
255
Location
Charlotte, NC
Follow up:
I received the recording of the 9-1-1 call, luckily I heard correct when he stated I did not threaten him. His very telling line was this "I want the police to come out because I want him to understand you can't do that, you can't challenge me like that."

I also talked to the Precinct Operations Manager for Meck Co today. I explained to him what happened. He let me know that the judge had written up an incident report on this but he hadn't reviewed it yet. The Precinct Operations Manager apologized to me for how I was treated and stated 'the judge was totally incorrect on all fronts' and presumed he was operating from own personal experiences and emotions as no such guidance was provided from the BOE.
He reiterated that the state BOE has no criteria over firearms, it's up to the facilities policies.
He said he will address this point with the chief judge in question and use it as a learning experience to communicate to all the chief judges.

I was very impressed by Meck BOE and the Precinct Operations Manager and hope for no further issues in the future.
 

solus

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
9,302
Location
here nc
Follow up:
I received the recording of the 9-1-1 call, luckily I heard correct when he stated I did not threaten him. His very telling line was this "I want the police to come out because I want him to understand you can't do that, you can't challenge me like that."

I also talked to the Precinct Operations Manager for Meck Co today. I explained to him what happened. He let me know that the judge had written up an incident report on this but he hadn't reviewed it yet. The Precinct Operations Manager apologized to me for how I was treated and stated 'the judge was totally incorrect on all fronts' and presumed he was operating from own personal experiences and emotions as no such guidance was provided from the BOE.
He reiterated that the state BOE has no criteria over firearms, it's up to the facilities policies.
He said he will address this point with the chief judge in question and use it as a learning experience to communicate to all the chief judges.

I was very impressed by Meck BOE and the Precinct Operations Manager and hope for no further issues in the future.
now a letter of appreciation should be sent to these folks higher supervisors for a job well done...[as well as assuring the incident is heard at the highest level(s)...]
 
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