After being told it was illegal to collect signatures for a petition on United States Postal Service grounds, Cherokee Tea Party activist Carolyn Cosby has taken her campaign to the sidewalk outside the Cherokee County Tax Commissioner's office.
Cosby and her supporters on Tuesday were spotted outside the county agency's Canton office located on Marietta Highway.
Cosby is on a campaign to collect signatures needed to be
placed on the ballot as an independent candidate to challenge incumbent County Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens in the Nov. 4 general election.
Cosby has to collect 5,982 signatures to turn into Cherokee County Elections Supervisor Janet Munda by noon July 8 to gain placement on the ballot.
Many residents on Tuesday posted on social media platforms questioning if Cosby's actions were legal.
County Attorney Angela Davis said Cosby's decision to set up shop outside the office is, in fact, legal.
"Due to the First Amendment, we cannot stop people from gathering and communicating in public areas under most circumstances," she said.
Cherokee Tax Commissioner Sonya Little added she did receive "several complaints" from residents regarding their presence at the Canton office, but none from customers pertaining to the Woodstock location on Towne Lake Parkway.
"The county attorney stated that as long as they did not cause a disturbance and stayed away from the door and on the public sidewalk that they could stay," Little added.
Cosby last week was
asked to leave the Canton Post Office on Riverstone Boulevard because she was in violation of postal regulations that make it "illegal" to collect signatures for a petition on postal grounds.
39 CFR, Part 232.1, titled Conduct on Postal Property, for its reasoning. That code outlines what can and can't be done on post office grounds, which includes the prohibition of collection of signatures on petitions.
Cosby blasted the USPS for its decision, adding it wasn't illegal to exercise her First Amendment rights on postal service grounds.