A reddit post entitled “Chody’s wife and friend blocking half the sidewalk at the polls, now barely outside the legal limit,” caught Williamson Reporter’s attention this morning, the first day of early voting in Texas. The Reporter commented with a request for permission to republish the photos and the poster’s narrative of what was occurring. The poster, TomTX, emailed the photos, published below.
Following is the narrative of what was occurring, published in a separate post entitled “Chody: Voter interference in Cedar Park.“
“If you go to the Library to early vote, not only is the line halfway past the County Annex, a woman identifying herself as Chodys wife engaged me when both of us were past the 100 foot line, trying to promote Chody. Her chair was also set up past the line, when repeatedly called on it, she eventually pulled it partway behind the line. She’s the biggest campaign funder due to lotto millions. Apparently nobody in the Chody family or campaign is capable of obeying the law.”
While a governmental entity may not prohibit electioneering on their property outside the 100 foot marker, they may enact “content neutral” restrictions on “time, place, and manner” of such activities. Prohibiting the obstruction of walkways would be such an allowed restriction as long as it applies to all parties wishing to perform electioneering activities. Any electioneering activity inside the 100 foot marker is prohibited by state election law.
Williamson Reporter reached out to the City of Cedar Park regarding restrictions on electioneering outside the 100 foot marker. In response to our request for any policies they have enacted concerning polling places on city property, City of Cedar Park Media and Communications Manager Jennie Huerta emailed the following response:
The Elections Offices for the two counties in which Cedar Park is located are administering elections. Any concerns should be immediately reported directly to the polling place supervisor at the location. The two City ordinances that address obstruction of sidewalks generally and political signs are City of Cedar Park Code of Ordinances Section 17.04.015 and Section 13.03.007, respectively. Sidewalk access violations may be reported by calling 512-260-4600 and pressing “0”. Signage concerns may be reported by using the CPConnect 2.0 app or submitting a form at cedarparktexas.gov/reportaproblem.
Additionally, Williamson Reporter reached out to Beverly Chody, Sheriff Robert Chody’s wife, via facebook messenger with a request for comment. No immediate response was received. If Mrs. Chody or the Chody campaign respond, Williamson Reporter will publish an update with their response.
Updated at 3:03 p.m. and 8:14 p.m. to reflect City of Cedar Park’s response to Williamson Reporter’s questions.