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Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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Informer: State law prohibits coercion of assisted voters

Last Modified: Monday, April 01, 2013 11:05 AM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

Are there any laws concerning caregivers bringing elderly clients to the polls and telling them who to vote for?

Yes.

“No person shall knowingly, willfully, or intentionally … while in the voting booth assisting another person in voting, coerce, compel, or otherwise influence the assisted voter to cast his vote in a certain way,” reads R.S. 18:1461.4.

Other prohibitions in the statute:

It’s unlawful to “intimidate, deceive, misinform, directly or indirectly, any voter or prospective voter in matters concerning” whether to vote, register, sign a petition or join a political party.

It’s unlawful to “intimidate a person by use of violence, force, or threats with the intent to influence that person’s decision to vote or to impede such person’s ingress or egress from a polling place.”

No one may “without lawful authority, obstruct, hinder, or delay any voter on his way to or while returning home from a polling place.”

Penalties for violating the law include a fine of up to $2,000 and as many as two years in prison.

Online: www.legis.la.gov.



State law defines ‘cyberstalking’

My ex-brother-in-law keeps monitoring my Facebook page to report back to my ex-husband, who is not even in the same state. Could this be called cyberstalking?

It’s petty for your ex-brother-in-law to monitor your Facebook page and pass information on to your ex-husband. But it’s not illegal.

State law defines cyberstalking as any of four sets of behavior:

“Use in electronic mail or electronic communication of any words or language threatening to inflict bodily harm to any person or to such person’s child, sibling, spouse, or dependent, or physical injury to the property of any person, or for the purpose of extorting money or other things of value from any person.”

“Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of threatening, terrifying, or harassing any person.”

“Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another and to knowingly make any false statement concerning death, injury, illness, disfigurement, indecent conduct, or criminal conduct of the person electronically mailed or of any member of the person’s family or household with the intent to threaten, terrify, or harass.”

“Knowingly permit an electronic communication device under the person’s control to be used” for any of the above.

For information on limiting people’s access to your Facebook posts, visit the service’s Help Center.

Online: www.facebook.com/help.

• • •

The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com

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