An 86-year-old Atascadero woman is being prosecuted for electioneering. The California Attorney General's Office is bringing the widow into court on misdemeanor charges after she called a friend to encourage them to vote during last year's primary election.
Edie Knight was at a polling place at the Atascadero Elks Lodge in San Luis Obispo when she allegedly violated campaign laws that prohibit campaigning within 100 feet of a polling place. Knight's offense? She called a friend and encouraged her to vote. By law, that's a violation of the 100-foot electioneering-free zone that is supposed surround polling places.
The law states that no signs, no buttons and no urging someone to vote for or against a particular candidate are allowed within 100 feet of any polling location. Someone caught Knight on video making the call, and forwarded the video to the Atascadero Police Department. They passed the video along to the District Attorney's office who brought charges against Knight.
In the video's description, the person who shot the video says that they missed Knight stating that she was calling on behalf of the campaign to elect Debbie Arnold (who was running for San Luis Obispo County Supervisor).
This video was taken at the Elks Lodge in Atascadero during the Presidential primary race, which took place on June 7th, 2015. The individual calling people from a list (seated under the picture of the Elks Lodge President) is Edith Knight of Atascadero. I was so shocked she was doing this I videotaped her conversation. What I missed was that she started the call with I am calling on behalf of the campaign to elect Debbie Arnold.
Community members and friends outraged over Knight's prosecution have begun collecting funds for her defense fund. The YouCaring page urges prosecutors to go after "the real criminals" and has already raised more than $10,000 of its $15,000 goal.
With all the crime we have in California you are spending taxpayer's money prosecuting an 86 year old grandmother who volunteers her time in the community she has lived in for over 33 years? Edie has spent over $5000.00 so far and is scheduled to appear in court May 30 for a jury trial. We the friends of Edie Knight have started this Crowdfunding campaign not only to help Edie with the cost of this injustice but to stand up against the State of California and show our support for a woman who is a pillar of her community and say, "Go after the real criminals and leave her alone!"