I went over to the Election Commission at lunch today to look at some records on campaign contributions. There was a small line of folks waiting to vote early. I excused myself to the front, given that I was there to look at records and not to vote.
At the front of the line standing near the Commission's front desk I noticed Council Member and State Legislator Brenda Gilmore speaking with the people at the front of the line and seeming to assist them. I did not hear her give any specific directions to the voters, but I did hear one of the poll volunteers tell Ms. Gilmore that she would not be able to go into the voting booth with the voters. I heard Ms. Gilmore say that she was not going to go in and that she was just helping them get to the polls.
Later as I was about to finish and leave, I asked one of the staffers whether it is appropriate for a Metro Council Member whose daughter is currently running for Council to be helping people in the office. The staffer told me that my question would be referred to the Commission Administrator, Ray Barrett, and he would contact me when he got back from lunch.
Mr. Barrett called me back within the hour to say that if it was Ms. Gilmore who was helping voters, then she should not have been doing so at the front desk. Council Members can help voters and bring them to the polls, but they are supposed to stay back 100 feet from the front door in the middle of the Election Commission parking lot if they do so. Mr. Barrett said that he would talk to Ms. Gilmore about this incident when he sees her in the future.