The Putnam County Election Commission has rewrote its mobile phone policy.
Chairman Phil Adams said the revised policy requires voters to silence their phones upon entering polling places.
“By law, they don’t have to turn them off. We’re just modifying this to have them silence their phones,” Adams said. “Then, we’re trying to minimize them from using them for any reason at all, but we can’t tell them not to use them because there is at least one voting app that people can use to see who they’re voting for.”
The commission unanimously approved the policy during Wednesday’s meeting. Commissioner Linda Daniel said the rule helps to minimize distractions during the voting process.
“The big reason that we even address this is because so many people would come through talking on their phones and distracting voters,” Daniel said. “That’s the whole purpose of that, and now we know we can’t tell people they can’t bring their phone, but we can ask that they keep it silenced.”
Adams said the policy does not apply to election workers.
“I think our policy is to try to get them (election workers) to not sit there on their phones the whole time,” Adams said. “It sets a bad example if they are on their phones and people coming in can’t use them. We encourage them to go out of that work area when they use them.”
The policy strictly prohibits voters from talking or texting while inside the voting location.