Skip to comments.Va. Bans Political Clothing at Polling Places[Virginia]
Posted on 10/15/2008 5:09:37 PM PDT by BGHater
The Virginia State Board of Elections has unanimously adopted a policy that prohibits voters from wearing anything that expressly supports a candidate at polling places on November 4.
State law has always said no campaigning, but all 134 Virginia counties had different ways of interpreting that.
"Some very permissive, allowing people to wear anything in; some only removing stickers; others not allowing t-shirts, caps or anything with a candidates name," Virginia State Board of Elections Chair Jean Cunningham said.
But some say even this policy leaves the door open for interpretation. "Interpreting other people's speech on their t-shirts and buttons is a subjective business," said Rebecca Glenberg with the American Civil Liberties Union.
In fact, the ACLU argues that this new statewide policy won't do anything but restrict free speech. "So a t-shirt that may be completely acceptable to the election officials in Charlottesville may be unacceptable to election officials in Albemarle County," Glenberg said.
Although there might still be some confusion over what is and is not campaigning, board members say it is better to have a policy than not. "It is better to put out there, I believe, ahead of time, a policy that informs the general public and our officers of election what is to be expected," Cunningham said.
If someone does show up to a polling place in a campaign gear, precincts are expected to have something available, like a smock or a poncho, so the person can cover up and vote.
So are they going to ban ACORN buttons and shirts? Are they going to keep the placard carrying thugs away from polling places? Doubt it.
I don’t need a t-shirt, just have to put my hair up,wear my glasses, my red lipstick, and red jacket....they’ll KNOW who I’m voting for. :)
I checked your profile to confirm you were female. Here in SF, they would think a guy dressed like that was a County Supervisor.
Electioneering in the polling place has always been illegal.
leave it to the ACLU to be on the wrong side again.
ROFL... Lots of females named Maddie around.
There, fixed it.
I wonder if they could interpret this subtle support?
Wow is right. I hope there is no issue with my “Freedom of speech needs no permit” shirt or my “No police state” button.
Does this mean the individuals that I have seen at every election since I could vote that stand outside the polling places and hand out literature for the candidates can no longer do that as well? That would also be a direct campaigning action in addition to candidate’s shirts worn by voters...
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