Open carry at polling places?


November 1, 2010, 05:27 PM
A police officer in Bangor Maine was prohibited from voting on Friday the 29th because he was wearing his service sidearm. He has since received an appology, although not from the warden who ejected him. He will be allowed to vote. The warden was asked not to show up at the polling place on election day. Officials went on to say that there is no law prohibiting police officers from voting while wearing their duty weapon. If you want to read the whole story there are links over at Just to be clear, the polling place was located in a civic center, not a school etc.

The article did not say wether or not it was legal for ordinary citizens to carry openly into polling places. So, my question is, especially for those of you who open carry regularly, will you be carrying openly at the voting booth? It does appear that it is legal in Maine. I am not advocating this for anyone. I hardly ever open carry and, it has been a hassle on the few occasions that I have, but I am thinking about it. I am generaly not one who tries to "stir the puddin'" but the idea that most people think that it would be be illegal just kinda ticks me off.

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November 1, 2010, 05:40 PM
I wouldn't open carry at a polling place because:

1. It will scare other people and they may just vote to make it illegal.
2. I may get my gun taken away by a criminal.
3. If someone is going to shoot up the polling place, they will shoot me first because they see my gun.
4. I, apparently, so they tell me, only open carry because I am seeking attention anyway. (Or maybe to make up for what I lack in my pants.)

I don't believe or accept any of the above, but they were probably going to be said anyway, so I thought I would just get them out there now rather than later! :evil:

My real answer is: I open carry when doing about 90% of my normal activities. If going to a polling place were part of my normal activities, I would not change my method of carry. There is nothing special about voting, unless there is something in state law that makes it special, and in Washington State there isn't (unless the polling place is a school, Federal building or post office, obviously.)

Colt Smith
November 2, 2010, 10:59 AM
It's amazing how such a big deal is made about such a simple tool. As long as the polling place is a legal location why not. There will always be a small intellect ready to offer their opinion but that is just another opportunity to respectfully educate people. The only thing I can think of is that some idiot may accuse you of voter intimidation.

November 2, 2010, 11:10 AM
This discussion is already ongoing:

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