Thirteen years ago, to nearly universal acclaim, West Virginia Secretary of State Ken Hechler succeeded in passing a bill to keep candidates' poll workers 300 feet away from the voting place. Now there's a move afoot to drop the limit to 100 feet. Such a move is both unwise and unneeded.
The old limit was 60 feet and stories from newspapers around the state in 1986 described the voters' relief at being able to park their cars and walk into the polls without being accosted by a variety of people hoping (against all hope) that one more appeal would sway a voter to choose their man or woman.
The fact is, as noted by editorial writers at the time that the bill was passed, is that any voter who makes up his or her decision based on some last-minute appeal - whether it be a verbal pitch or a shiny brochure - is probably casting an uninformed vote. Voters ought to come to the polls prepared to register decisions they've already made, not to be pressured by a variety of sidewalk salespeople.