Bill Clinton has recently been under fire for "blocking a polling station." Further investigation reveals that anyone can solicit outside of a polling station in MA as long as they are 150 feet from the station.

Voting and Counting Procedures for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts states:

Within 150 feet of a polling place as defined in 950 CMR 53.03(18)(c), no person shall solicit votes for or against, or otherwise promote or oppose, any person or political party or position on a ballot question, to be voted on at the current election.

My question instead is directed towards President Clinton's security and his actual presence.

Is it legal for Clinton's security to block access to a polling station? Further, is there a question of legality in President Clinton's presence creating a situation that caused access to the polls to be hindered?

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    The answer should be that it's just as illegal for him as it is for anyone else. That said, there's a lot of incentive for people to either exaggerate or downplay his involvement for political reasons, so the end result may not bear any relation to what actually happened or whatever might be done to someone else who did the same thing. Do you have any details?
    – Bobson
    Mar 2, 2016 at 19:37
  • Bill is just naturally drawn to areas were solicitation is legal.
    – user9790
    Jul 29, 2018 at 20:42

1 Answer 1


I am not aware of US law on this matter, but in many European countries, this happens often, when important public figures go to the polls. There is no specific rule in Election Code or other laws, it just happens.

It is a clash of two interests protected by law: Free exercise of voting right vs. safety of public figures. As with every clash of equal rights (as nothing indicates that one is above of the other), it is OK to limit one right in the extent absolutely necessary to exercise the other.

In this case, it would be lawful if the disturbance wasn't greater than absolutely necessary to protect President Clinton's safety AND it didn't actually prevent others from voting. (E.g. if he arrived at the last minute and prevented people to vote before the station closed - in my country, in such cases, the law allows to vote after deadline.)

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