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Official: No laws broken posting fliers

jacksonflyer.jpg

Shown is one of the 2,500 fliers the campaign of town council candidate Quentin Jackson blanketed across the town of Hertford the night before Tuesday's election.

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By Peter Williams
The Perquimans Weekly

Thursday, November 9, 2017

HERTFORD — A candidate’s blanketing of car windshields with his campaign fliers the night before Tuesday’s town election in Hertford was not a clear-cut violation of any laws, a law enforcement official says.

Supporters of successful town council candidate Quentin Jackson distributed about 2,500 color fliers either late Monday night or early Tuesday morning asking voters to support his campaign.

Many of the fliers ended up on the windshields of vehicles, prompting complaints from some residents who said they didn’t like the fact Jackson supporters apparently had gone on their private property at night to post the fliers.

Posting the fliers on residents’ vehicles doesn’t appear to violate state election laws, according to Sydni Banks, Perquimans County director of elections.

“To my knowledge there is no statute referencing that issue as it pertains to an election. That may be a better question for law enforcement,” she said Tuesday night.

Hertford Police Chief Douglas Freeman was unavailable for comment Thursday, but another law enforcement official in Perquimans said the Jackson campaign’s last-minute flier distribution, some of it on private property, was not a clear violation of state law.

“The only way I can see it broke the law is if they had no-trespassing signs up. There is the potential for a charge of littering, but I think that would be really pushing it,” said the law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Jackson defended his campaign’s distribution of the fliers on private property.

“If I had to do it all over again, I do it again,” Jackson said.

He said the people who have complaints about it are people who didn’t support his candidacy. He also claimed that his campaign wasn’t the first to distribute fliers on private property.

“I find it ironic that when Frank Jaklic did it when he was running, and when the liquor-by-the-drink issue came up, they did it, and I didn’t hear citizens complain,” Jackson said. “I didn’t mean to offend anybody. It’s not like we went in places with a gate, and we didn’t go in if there were no-trespassing signs.”

Jackson and Frank Norman finished first and second, respectively, in Tuesday’s election for two seats on Hertford Town Council. They defeated incumbent Councilors Ed Lane and Lillian Holman, who were both seeking re-election to third terms. 

Holman said residents started complaining to her about Jackson’s fliers the first thing Tuesday morning. She suggested it was reckless to have people walk unannounced into residents’ yards at night.

“Somebody could have gotten a bullet in their head,” Holman said. 

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