For context, the region I'm in is Sangamon County, Illinois.
I ordered an ACLU pin from their shop. I expect it to arrive before November 3rd and I am excited to wear it at the polling place. I am, however, not certain if this is permitted under the law. I checked on the Electoral Judge's manual for clarification and I found this:
Electioneering is defined as working for, against, or in the interest of a candidate, party, or proposition. Electioneering is not allowed in the polling place or within the campaign free zone (a distance of within 100 horizontal feet of the room). No one is permitted to wear a campaign button, display political literature, or engage in any political discussion within the restricted area.
So I interpret this as putting me in the clear. The pin is unrelated to a candidate, party, or any proposition on my region's ballots. I wanted a concrete illustration of the law so I did a search and found within the Illinois Compiled Statutes: 10 ILCS 5/7-41 (c)
No person shall do any electioneering or soliciting of votes on primary day within any polling place or within one hundred feet of any polling place, or, at the option of a church or private school, on any of the property of that church or private school that is a polling place. Election officers shall place 2 or more cones, small United States national flags, or some other marker a distance of 100 horizontal feet from each entrance to the room used by voters to engage in voting, which shall be known as the polling room. […]
[…] This subsection shall be construed liberally in favor of persons engaging in electioneering on all polling place property beyond the campaign free zone for the time that the polls are open on an election day.
It's striking that electioneering isn't defined within the section, so I reviewed 10 ILCS 5/0.01 et seq. and found section 5/7-4. Definitions does not provide clarification about electioneering. Okay, maybe it’s a common sense term. I checked Black’s Law Dictionary 5th ed. and also found no definition of electioneering.
Well maybe there's relevant case law? I reviewed West's Smith-Hurd ILCS Annotated and found there were no reported cases related to 10 ILCS 5/0.01 et seq.
Last I checked West's IL Digest and found no relevant case law. There were surprisingly only 5 cases related to elections, none of which had anything to do with electioneering.
So I imagine if a judge were to make a determination about whether displaying this pin within a polling place is electioneering, they would have to refer to a dictionary definition. From Webster's:
elec·tion·eer | \ i-ˌlek-shə-ˈnir \
electioneered; electioneering; electioneers
Definition of electioneer
: to take an active part in an election
specifically : to work for the election of a candidate or party
Well this is incredibly unhelpful! While this pin is not working for the election of a candidate or party, my very presence in the polling place is taking an active part in an election.
So in summary, would displaying this pin in a polling place be considered unlawful electioneering?