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Tuesday
Nov062012

At Colo. Polling Place, Church Has Anti-Abortion Display

Jessica Cuneo/Daily Camera(BOULDER, Colo.) -- A Boulder, Colo., church that is serving as a polling location has chosen to leave up its anti-abortion display for Election Day.

The Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church has left up signs and crosses meant to represent aborted fetuses as part of an October “Respect Life” month display on church grounds where Boulder County voters came to cast their votes Tuesday.

Molly Tayer, Boulder County’s deputy clerk and election coordinator, told ABC News that she had contacted the church regarding the removal of the religious signage when it was brought to her attention a few weeks ago.

She said she was told initially that the display would be taken down come the first weekend of November.

But Tayer got a call back on Friday from the church to let her know that “father has decided not to take it down.”

“We feel badly that we didn’t realize that this wasn’t going to be taken down this weekend, otherwise I would have tried to make other accommodations [for voters],” Tayer said. “After you advertise a polling place, it’s very difficult to change.”

Church representatives had signed a contract to serve as a polling place in April, said Tayer.

While there are regulations preventing electioneering – handing out materials, posting yard signs  – within 100 feet of an actual polling site, the church has not violated these rules, Tayer said.

According to Karna Swanson, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Denver, officials had previously come to the church, surveyed the exhibit, and found no violation.

Voters can drive up to the polling site and not even see the signs, Swanson said.

“You’re going to have some religious signs around if you use the church as a polling site,” said Swanson.

While she hasn’t heard many people complain as of Election Day, Tayer said that “a number of our voting population found [the display] offensive.”

This is the second time the church has served as a polling site, Tayer said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio