State Senator Tells His Side Of Polling Place Run-In

ELGIN, Ill. (STMW) – State Sen. Michael Noland has given his side of a run-in between him and a Carpentersville police officer at a polling place on Election Day.

Police reported they were called to the polling place at St. Monica’s Catholic Church on Route 25 in Carpentersville when Noland (D-Elgin) refused to provide identification to election judges. They said that in lieu of his driver’s license, Noland showed the officer a traffic ticket he had been issued for allegedly driving without insurance.

“Every election day, I visit as many polling places as I can so I can thank the election judges for serving,” Noland said Friday. “I say, ‘I’m Sen. Michael Noland, and I want to thank you for giving your time for this.’ The visits also allow me to gauge how high the turnout [of voters] is, though I don’t ask the judges for any numbers.”

“At St. Monica’s, I was not talking to any voters, and I was not wearing any campaign buttons or doing any campaigning inside the polling place,” Noland said. “But St. Monica’s had very demonstrative Republican judges. They said that unless I had credentials allowing me to be there, I had to leave, and right away, they called the police.”

Noland said he had only the traffic ticket instead of his driver’s license because he had not had his auto insurance card with him when he was pulled over by police one time recently. “I do have insurance, but I had forgotten to put the new proof-of-insurance card in my glove compartment,” he said.

Noland said that by that point, he already was prepared to move on to the next polling place and that nothing further ensued in the incident.

Noland, who was re-elected to his second term in office Tuesday, said the only other time his polling-place visits were challenged this year was during an incident at St. Hugh of Lincoln Episcopal Church on West Highland Avenue in Elgin. A voter there asked him to help her work the electronic voting machine, and he went with her into the voting booth to do that, he said. A Republican poll watcher challenged his right to go into the voting booth area, but he said he convinced the poll watcher it is a voter’s right to bring along someone to assist her in casting the ballot.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Mark

    Apparently his completely misheard the rules that you cannot say a candidates name within 100 feet of the polling place. Saying “I’m Sen. Michael Noland, and I want to thank you for giving your time for this.” Is a obvious breaking of the rules, a sly democratic tactic that allows unknowledgeable voters a hear a name right before they vote.

    • Michael A. Jozwiak

      But it’s OK and completely legal for Michelle Obama to be in a polling place and promote her husbands agenda… two sets of laws here… what happened to blind justice and balanced scales.

  • Right

    Mark is right. It was a close race and Rauschenberger should file charges against Noland for illegal campaigning.

  • Wrong

    So when he goes into his polling place to vote he’s not allowed to tell the election judges his name because a candidates name can’t be mentioned in a polling place? No you’ve got that wrong, there is no campaigning allowed within 100ft of a polling place. It is not true that you can’t say a candidates name withing 100ft as long as you aren’t campaigning. It’s even legal by Illinois election law standards for campaigns to print out voter guides to bring with them into the polls that say punch 18 for Noland and punch 13 for Quinn. And poll watchers from campaigns can be in a polling place with proper credentials and have to identify who they are with so there goes another way a candidates name can be said in a polling place. As long as there is no active campaigning by a candidate or a representative of a candidate to persuade voter(s) within a 100ft of a polling place there is no law against saying a candidates name in a polling place.

    And before you yell at me and say I’m wrong know that I used to do this all the time for various campaigns on election day before I got sick of the bums. I was a poll watcher, campaigned 100ft outside of a polling place, designed voter guides to be taken into polling places, and even accompanied candidates to polling places on numerous election days in the past. Mike Noland is by no means the first candidate to do this. The dummy should have just gotten some poll watching credentials before he walked in the door and learned not to fight with election judges.

  • James

    Mr. Noland should grow up and act like the professional he was voted to be. A State enatoe should not being getting tickets and certainly should always have his insurance card (I have never bee without mine, it’s not that tough and it’s the law)! and how odd he didn’;t even want to show ID when asked, he shouldn’t have been in a situation where he was asked!

  • Sarah

    Apparently the law doesn’t apply to Democrats. Shame on you, Mr. Noland!

  • DennyK

    Senator Nowland’s actions were very unprofessional, especially for an officer of the court. As an attorney he should know that such actions are prohibited by his oath. In addition, other news stories have reported that when he was taken to the police station (arrested?) he produced a traffic ticket for driving without auto insurance as his identification. I believe this is also a violation of his oath, since not having auto insurance is a crime in Illinois.

    Someone should report Senator Nowland to the ARDC Lawyers Registration committee at 130 E. Randolph Dr., Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60601-6219 for their investigation.

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