Since this one is asked on Twitter several times a week…
Question: Are those canvassers allowed to collect signatures on MAX?
Answer: In a word, yes.
BUT: if their behavior is outright harassment, you can notify the train operator (or Wackenhut security guard or a TriMet supervisor if one happens to be on board) to have them removed from the train, the same way you can notify any of these TriMet personnel to remove *anyone* who is harassing you from the train.
However, simply asking you to sign a petition is not, on its own, harassing behavior.
Some quick & easy answers to get them to move on if you’re not interested in what they are doing:
- No thanks – this one should always work! But if not…
- I’m from out of state
- I’m not registered to vote
- I already signed that one
- I don’t sign petitions
- I don’t speak English
And I guess if you use obscenities, a simple “*expletive* off!” will do though I really don’t recommend that approach. A better idea would be to ask the canvasser for the phone number of the organization/local chapter they represent, and then call them and tell them that based on the behavior of their canvasser, you will not support any of their causes.
I’m not a fan of the canvassers either – I think they’re annoying and it gets really tiresome having them strike phony-cheerful conversations with you when you’re minding your own business (One guy once tried launching into his spiel with me by saying “Hey! Didn’t I just see you at that event for people who care about the environment?” WEAK.) But it is public transit and they do have the right to be there as long as they move on when you tell them you’re not interested.