That sounds pretty un-American to me. I would be EXTREMELY curious to see what T-shirts and paraphernalia are allowed at the polls around the country. Please take pictures at the polls as evidence to either prove or disprove that this is universally enforced.
Stella Espinoza Browne In CA there is a law about no campaigning within 250 feet of a polling place. Doing so is a misdemeanor. Perhaps this is why she had to cover up her shirt?
Grace Sauser Sounds like one poll workers interpretation of the law regarding campaigning near a polling place and should neither be attributed to government "policy" nor to the entire voting process in general. Just remember, it is always the outliers that make news - not the status quo.
Aaron Gayden True on electioneering laws. I am curious as to whether it fits the legal definition. The candidates both profess to be bible believers to a certain degree, so technically she could voting either way. (Both Presidential candidates also have bible believing detractors.) I am also curious as to whether the enforcement of the law is equal. If someone came in with a shirt saying Vote Obama or Vote Romney or whatever what would happen. True the outliers make the news. I am just curious. I could be wrong all the way around. It could be a total edge case. I am just very curious.
- Scott Lee I'm a lawyer, and although I agree with what the tee shirt says, I think the message does arguably run afoul of the law in this case. The purpose of the law is to allow voters some intellectual freedom at the polling place, and any written or spoken messages intended to affect a voter's voting process would violate the law. So even though the message on the shirt could be interpreted to different effects, the message is still intended to make voters think about something related to their vote, so I think it violates the intent of the law. It was probably appropriate to make the wearer remove or cover the message.
- Aaron Gayden Definition of electioneering: (I AM NOT SURE IF THIS IS THE CURRENT STATUTE OR NOT) Help me out legal eagles. Definition appears to be dated 1986 but I cannot tell if the definition has been updated or if updates apply to other portions of the statute... (a) A person commits an offense if, during the voting period and within 100 feet of an outside door through which a voter may enter the building in which a polling place is located, the person:
(1) loiters; or
(2) electioneers for or against any candidate, measure, or political party.
(b) In this section, "voting period" means the period beginning when the polls open for voting and ending when the polls close or the last voter has voted, whichever is later.
(c) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.
§ 85.036. ELECTIONEERING PROHIBITED. (a) During the time
an early voting polling place is open for the conduct of early
voting, a person may not electioneer for or against any candidate,
measure, or political party in or within 100 feet of an outside door
through which a voter may enter the building or structure in which
the early voting polling place is located
(b) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 639, § 2
(c) During the early voting period, the early voting clerk
shall keep continuously posted:
(1) at the entrance to the room or area, as applicable,
in which the early voting polling place is located, a sign on which
is printed in large letters "Early Voting Polling Place"; and
(2) at the outer limits of the area within which
electioneering is prohibited, a sign on which is printed in large
letters "Distance Marker. No electioneering between this point and
the entrance to the early voting polling place."
(d) A person commits an offense if the person electioneers
in violation of Subsection (a).
(e) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
(f) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 639, § 2
Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by
Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 203, § 1.09; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch.
554, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 498, §
1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 639, § 1, 2,
eff. Sept. 1, 2003. As best as I can tell the definition includes only specific part names, candidate names or measures on the ballot. If so, it was improper to require the voter to cover her t-shirt. PLEASE correct me if I am wrong. :-0
- Stella Espinoza Browne I think you are wrong. Here is the complete text of Section 319.5
“Electioneering” means the visible display or audible dissemination of information that advocates for or against any candidate or measure on the ballot within 100 feet of a polling place, an elections official’s office, or a satellite location under Section 3018. Prohibited electioneering information includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:
(a)A display of a candidate’s name, likeness, or logo.
(b)A display of a ballot measure’s number, title, subject, or logo.
(c)Buttons, hats, pencils, pens, shirts, signs, or stickers containing electioneering information.
(d)Dissemination of audible electioneering information.
Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 146, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2010.
- Aaron Gayden Thanks you guys! I could well be wrong. (Texas was the location of the incident in question though.) My underlying question is regarding if THAT is electioneering is OTHER (possibly more direct) electioneering equally prohibited?
Woman Forced to Cover Up ‘Vote the Bible’ Shirt In Order to Cast Ballot visiontoamerica.com
Woman Forced to Cover Up ‘Vote the Bible’ Shirt In Order to Cast BallotFiled under1st Amendment,2012 Election,LawPosted
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