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Too close for comfort.
That's what Salt Lake City mayoral candidate Jackie Biskupski says about Mayor Ralph Becker's Trolley Square campaign headquarters in relation to a voting station nearby.
Biskupski filed a complaint with the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office alleging Becker is violating the state's "electioneering" statute that prohibits political pursuits near a voting place.
"I think all candidates should be concerned with this," she said. "I'm concerned it could have an impact on this race."
A primary election is scheduled Tuesday. But County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said Becker's campaign office will not be at odds with the law if campaign workers take down any signs or posters at the office before Election Day the only day the voting center will be open. The campaign has agreed. Further, they have promised to park cars bearing Becker bumper stickers elsewhere on Tuesday.
Swenson said her office has contracted with Trolley Square over the years as a polling location, and was not aware in April when the contract was renewed that the Becker-campaign headquarters was nearby. Matt Lyon, Becker's campaign manager, said that the campaign office was on the second level at Trolley, while the polling station is on the first floor at the opposite end of the building
"There is no line of sight," he said, "between the voting booths and the campaign headquarters."
Per the statute, the prohibition on electioneering within 150 feet of a polling place "includes any oral, printed, or written attempt to persuade persons to refrain from voting or to vote for or against any candidate or issue."
If Becker emerges as one of two top vote-getters Tuesday, his campaign staff can again put up posters and signs in the windows until the general election on Nov. 3.
Last month, Becker accused Biskupski of "skirting" campaign laws after a political action committee put up billboards supporting her candidacy. However, there is no limit to PAC spending as long as it is not coordinated with a campaign.