Section 11-46-28

Polling place hours; duties of election officers; challenger; deletion of absentee voter applicants from voter list; preservation of order.

(a) Every polling place shall open for voting at 7:00 A.M. and shall close at 7:00 P.M. and shall remain open for voting for not less than 12 consecutive hours. All polling places in areas operating on eastern time may open and close under this section pursuant to eastern time.

The election officers at voting places shall meet at the respective places of holding elections for which they have been appointed 30 minutes before the hour established by the municipal governing body to open the polls and shall at the designated hour open the several polling places as designated and keep them open without adjournment or recess until the hour established by the municipal governing body to close the polls and no longer.

(b) Any qualified elector entitled to vote at a polling place who has identified himself or herself with the election officials at the polling place by closing time shall be permitted to cast his or her ballot.

(c) Before entering upon their duties, the election officers must take an oath to perform their duties at the election according to law, and the oath may be administered either by any person authorized by law to administer oaths or by an election inspector.

(d) When paper ballots are used, the inspectors shall select one of their number, on opening the polls, to act as challenger, and the challenger shall ascertain if each person presenting himself or herself to vote is registered, the finding to be from an examination of the official list of the voters furnished by the mayor or other chief executive officer.

(e) Upon receipt of the list showing the names of every person whose name appears on the official list of qualified electors for that particular polling place who have applied for absentee ballots in the election, the election officials shall strike from the list of qualified electors kept at the polling place the name of every person who has applied for an absentee ballot, and no person who has applied for an absentee ballot shall vote again.

(f) Before the election officials commence receiving ballots, the election inspectors must cause it to be proclaimed aloud at the places of voting that the election is opened.

(g) After the polls have been opened, no adjournment or recess shall be taken until the certificate of the result of the election is signed.

(h) When voting machines are used, the election officials shall also comply with Section 11-46-47, and upon completing the duties thereby imposed shall formally declare the polls opened.

(i) The marshal, chief of police, or other chief law enforcement officer of the city or town shall preserve good order at all municipal elections held in the city or town, but not more than one officer shall at the same time be allowed to enter the polling place. Except as electors are admitted to vote and persons to assist them as provided in this article and except the above-mentioned law enforcement officers, the election officials, and the watchers, no person shall be permitted within 30 feet of the polling place.

(Acts 1961, No. 663, p. 827, §8; Acts 1976, No. 358, p. 403, §7; Acts 1982, No. 82-458, p. 711, §6; Act 2003-400, p. 1150, §1; Act 2006-281, p. 496, §1.)