Why is electioneering prohibited near polling places?

I can understand that people shouldn’t be harassing voters but I don’t understand why people are prohibited from posting signs, or wearing T-shirts and buttons.

Some historical basis?

Do other countries do the same?

In things like this, it’s better to have a blanket rule that’s unambiguous. Otherwise, six hours before polling starts, one party comes in and puts their posters on every wall around the polling place, then a few hours later, another one comes in, tears those down, and puts up new ones. It’s much easier to say no campaigning of any kind is allowed within the area.

(And I say that with a lot of experience campaigning outside polling places in Australia, where similar rules exist.)

In our town, there’s a linear distance from the polling place within which you cannot be harassed. Call it a quiet place. Partisans aren’t allowed to bother you with their noise or signs here.

But abut the T-shirts and badges…

I don’t know why that was an issue this time. I don’t recall this coming up before, and didn’t seem toapply here.

Doubtlessly some unpleasantness is thusly averted. Electioneering near polling places would lead to arguments and even physical assaults.

I remember voting for the first time (2004) and waiting for an hour and a half in the lines. Even though everyone was pretty quiet, the staff requested that everyone remove their buttons, stickers, and any other articles advertising for their candidate. It was a little weird to me, because it wasn’t like riots were breaking out. I figure by the time you get to the polls, your mind is already made up for who you’re going to vote for. I would hope that a sticker wouldn’t sway a person.
I thought it was a little overkill. Has anyone ever been to the polls where there was a problem?

Germany, definitely. I served in polling places in two states, various level of elections (local to European), and the rules were always on the principle of “no electioneering in the building and some distance from it” (i.e. a voter should have free access to the polling station without being confronted with electioneering activity.)

I guess that a lack of physical separation would compromise the perceived neutrality of the polling station and the people manning it. Also, if you keep that kind of activity at a distance you need not address the difficult question of whether it is harrassing or intimidating.

Given the history of Election Day in the U.S., perhaps a little overkill is in order:

This sometimes turns out not to be the case. There are people who can’t decide until they’re actually in the booth.

In Spain all electioneering is forbidden on election day and the day before it (called “meditation day”). Anyone who knows anything about Spanish history during the first half of the 20th century will understand that it is better to be on the safe side.

It’s not about swaying, it’s about intimidating…you know, swaying with a stick? It’s just easier this way.

In ROI, not only is canvassing forbidden near polling stations, but there is a media blackout on the election day, and the day before, to give people the chance to relax, calm down, and process the information that they have already recieved.