There are a couple of simple rules for those working the polls on Election Day: Don’t talk about politics. Don’t talk about religion. You get the idea.
Ruth Provencal broke those rules during September’s primaries in Derry, New Hampshire by saying “God bless you” to voters.
That’s why she was asked not to work during Tuesday’s elections:
“She continually breaks the rules,” [chairman of the town’s Supervisors of the Checklist Renee] Routhier said Monday. “She was saying, ‘God bless you’ to people who were out to vote. We have to be very careful what we do at the polls.”
Provencal claims she said “God bless you” several times when a voter sneezed and was shocked when she received the call last week.
“I was taken by surprise and said, ‘OK, and God bless you,'” Provencal said. “I didn’t know there was a law against what you could say.”
She didn’t know any better, but she doesn’t seem to show any sign of stopping, so it was the right move to ask her not to work. Provencal claims this is an infringement on her free speech rights, but that’s just her ignorance popping up once again. This isn’t a free speech issue. This is a matter of not influencing voters when they’re about to vote — and as the Religious Right knows very well, God is all too potent a force in politics.