CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland City Council enacted a new law that further protects poll workers and their family members.

During a regular meeting on Monday, council members approved two new sections of a codified ordinance, No. 1192-2022, that deals with harassment of election officials.

About one in six election officials reported that they have been threatened personally, with more than half of those instances not reported to law enforcement, according to survey given by the Brennan Center for Justice in March 2022.

One new section prohibits anyone from intimidating or harassing an election official or their family member. It’s a first degree misdemeanor, with mandatory prison time of at least three days.

The other new section codifies what’s already in state law that prohibits loitering or engaging in election campaigning near polling locations. It also prohibits delaying an elector from reaching or leaving the polling place. That’s also a first degree misdemeanor, with at least three days of mandatory prison time.

It was passed as an emergency action and immediately put into effect in time for Election Day on Tuesday.

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