Cops Called On Firefighters Campaigning In Fla.


Firefighters were campaigning so aggressively in Volusia County that someone called deputies on them. They didn't learn their lesson and deputies had to come out again, but they weren't ticketed.

Firefighters said it's because whenever deputies were there they would stop what they were doing.

Instead of sign waving in the parking lot, they set up by a stop sign and had a sign telling people to stop there for voter information. Cell phone video captured cars in the distance lining up while someone leaned down to their open window to hand out campaign flyers.

The Volusia County Supervisor of Elections said it was firefighters who were at the intersection in front of the Deltona Library for two days and were aggressive enough with voters to require sheriff's deputies to respond. One campaign worker said a deputy talked to him at the entrance.

"I put my window down to ask them. I said, 'You know, you're making it hard for people to get in and out of the polling site. Can you please back away so people can get in?'" campaign worker Jim Oddie said.

Oddie said he'd never seen anything like it before. He said they were handing out flyers with a list of suggested people to vote for. The handout didn't say who paid for it. The spot was more than 100 feet from polls, so the elections supervisor said poll workers couldn't stop them.

Witnesses said it was after a poll worker was yelled at that the librarian finally called in deputies.

"Nobody deserves that. I don't care, politics aside, you just don't treat an elderly person that way," campaign worker Mel Coppi said.

The Deltona Fire Union president said they were just being innovative by not standing with other campaigners and weren't doing anything wrong at the polls, and declined to comment further until after the election.

The elections supervisor sent a canvassing board member out to the site to observe the campaigning. Even though sheriff deputies responded twice, there was no written report generated for either call.

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