Columbia, SC (WLTX) --On Election Day in November and December,some of you were concerned about goodie bags or snacks being provided to poll workers by elected officials with their names visible to voters casting their ballots.
State law requires campaign materialsmust be 200 feet from an election location, and knowledge of that law called into question bags and other offerings from Columbia Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine.
Devine says she and her husband, Richland School District One Board Chairman Jamie Devine, provided the snacks to poll workers as a thank you for their volunteering to work the election. She says they include things like chocolate, chips and soda.
"They're here sometimes 13, 14 hours and they cannot leave, and so we feel like this is the least an opportunity if they don't bring something or they get hungry or they get restless, they at least have some snacks that they can snack on throughout the day," said Tameika Isaac Devine of the poll workers and her snack bags.
She says the practice is common among some elected officials and while some question how appropriate it is, Richland County Elections Director Howard Jackson says if they are not asking for votes or displaying campaign material it is fine.
"As long as there isn't any campaign literature on it, you know they're gonna be a long day and if anyone wants to come and bring them snacks I'm not opposed to that," said Jackson.
News19 contacted the South Carolina Ethics Commission about the issue. They said it would fall under the State Election Commission. A spokesman with that agency says there is no law against providing food to poll workers.