GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - A City of Gonzales council member was ticketed on Election Day, Nov. 4, 2014, after police spotted him pedaling a tricycle covered in political signs near polling places.
Reports say on November 4, around 7:30 a.m., Councilman Timothy Vessel was spotted along Irma Boulevard.
According to police, Vessel was riding the tricycle on the sidewalk area with three campaign signs attached. Reports say at one point, Vessel parked his tricycle outside of the Ascension Parish Courthouse with the signage directed at East Ascension High School, and walked onto the East Ascension High School campus where voting was taking place. He went back to his tricycle and began traveling on Irma Boulevard, this time traveling north to Gonzalez City Hall were voters were also gathered as it was used as a precinct.
The Secretary of State's Office confirms that RS 18:1462 dictates that all political signage must be at least 600 feet from any polling station, regardless of what the signage in expressing.
The report from Gonzales PD says officers who witnessed Vessel measured the spots he had been seen riding and parking and they fell well under the 600 feet allowed.
Officers were dispatched to Vessel's house and he was not at home. He was located on S. Ringer Street handing out flyers to residents. Officers advised Vessel of the State Statute prohibiting him from having any political signage less than 600 feet from a polling station. Vessel claimed he had not done any such thing, and an officer informed him that he had photographic evidence and measurements.
Vessel asked to know which polling stations he had been near and when told, he replied, "Wait a minute. This ain't even an election year."
An officer then wrote Councilman Vessel a summons and all political signage was placed into evidence.