Volunteers also must obey all laws against campaigning near polling places and voting lines. As long as they are not campaigning and offering their snacks to all comers, Lindenbaum said in a memo, the practice should be legal.
In the real world, election officials tolerate volunteers giving out food and drinks at polling places as long as there is no partisan influence. Many voters will see volunteers “warming” voting lines during the early voting period and on Election Day.
Volunteers, however, do occasionally face confrontation. Because the practice of providing food to voters exists in a legal gray area, some people may take offense.
In Dougherty County, armed residents confronted volunteers for the nonprofit group Black Voters Matter who were giving out snacks and sample ballots to voters waiting in line Oct. 16. Volunteers called police, who separated the armed demonstrators from the volunteers. The incident was reported to the ProPublica Electionland tip line and confirmed by volunteers with the Black Voters Matter organization.
For both voters and volunteers, the best thing to do is avoid all mention of politics. Volunteers should be ready to hand out food to anyone who asks and prepared for questions from voters or authorities. Poll workers are ultimately in charge of each voting precinct, so any issues should be reported to them right away. The poll manager should be able to answer questions or provide any resources necessary to both voters and volunteers.