Archived News

Team Waynesville supporter appears to violate federal law

Sherry Morgan distributes campaign literature at the Waynesville Post office on the afternoon of Oct. 27 Sherry Morgan distributes campaign literature at the Waynesville Post office on the afternoon of Oct. 27 Cory Vaillancourt photo

With early voting underway and municipal election races heating up, a supporter of the far-right nativist faction running for various Town of Waynesville offices has been handing out campaign literature at Waynesville’s downtown post office, in apparent violation of federal law.

On the afternoon of Oct. 26, The Smoky Mountain News received multiple complaints about electioneering at the post office on South Haywood Street. Upon further investigation on Oct. 27, SMN encountered Sherry Morgan, of Waynesville, handing out campaign literature for Team Waynesville.

The literature, featuring council candidates Tre Franklin, Peggy Hannah and Stephanie Sutton, as well as mayoral candidate Joey Reece, contains multiple false claims, as outlined in a previous story.

But this time, it’s not about the veracity of their claims — it’s about where, exactly, their supporters disseminate them.

The U.S. Postal Service’s website outlines a strict policy against certain activities taking place on its property, and indeed, all federal property.

“Soliciting alms and contributions, campaigning for election to any public office, collecting private debts, commercial soliciting and vending, displaying or distributing commercial advertising, and collecting signatures on petitions, polls, or surveys (except as otherwise authorized by Postal Service regulations) are prohibited on Postal Service property,” reads the policy.

Related Items

There are some exceptions to the policy, however none of them allow campaigning for public office.

Furthermore, the Code of Federal Regulations outlines conduct on Postal Service property, which applies to “all real property under the charge and control of the Postal Service, to all tenant agencies, and to all persons entering in or on such property.”

Haywood County GIS records show the 2-acre parcel is owned by the United States of America.

The CFR section dealing with the ban on campaigning does not apply to “sidewalks along the street frontage of postal property falling within the property lines of the Postal Service that are not physically distinguishable from adjacent municipal or other public sidewalks.”

The walkway where Morgan was approaching Postal Service customers is physically distinguishable from the sidewalks along South Haywood Street because it’s separated from the public sidewalk by a grassy, landscaped median approximately 8 feet wide.

The CFR provision also does not apply to “any paved areas adjacent to such sidewalks that are not physically distinguishable from such sidewalks.”

Again, the walkway used by postal service customers is distinguishable from the public sidewalk not only by the presence of the landscaped median, but also by the fact that it’s several feet higher than the streetside public sidewalk and requires stairs to access from street level.

However, video of the incident captured by SMN shows that Morgan isn’t even standing on a sidewalk or walkway — she’s standing in the mulched landscaping bed directly adjacent to the Postal Service building.

When confronted, Morgan denied wrongdoing.

Phillip Boganburger, a North Carolina-based spokesperson for the Postal Service, refused to answer questions about the incident, including whether Morgan had “permission” to campaign at the post office as some have alleged. Instead, Boganburger simply restated Postal Service policy.

“Political campaigning is prohibited on postal property,” he wrote. “We ask anyone engaging in these activities to comply with federal law and postal policy regarding political campaigning.”


Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.