POLYAS Election Glossary

We provide explanations and background information on elections, voting rights and digital democracy

Passive electioneering

Passive electioneering is a specific form of campaigning in an election whereby supporters of a particular candidate or party carry signs or wear items of clothing which explicitly convey their support at the polling place on election day. In doing so, their goal is to influence last minute undecided voters to vote for their desired candidate or party.

The practice of passive electioneering is controversial in many jurisdictions. For example, the United Kingdom considers the act of bringing political material to a polling place in support of a particular candidate or party as a form of voter intimidation.

In the United States, some states such as New York and Virginia, have laws to prevent the wearing of campaign T-shirts and buttons to polling places on election day. Opponents of such laws argue that such bans contravene the notion of freedom of speech as enshrined in the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

See also: Electioneering, Election Campaign, Polling Place

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