If you plan on proudly marching to the polls, this Tuesday, with an emblazoned tee that broadcasts your favorite candidate’s face or name, you may want to think twice about it. Aside from the obvious electioneering no-nos — political signage, handing out campaign literature or soliciting votes in a designated radius surrounding a polling location — several states have laws that prohibit voters from wearing certain attire.
15 states, including: New York, California, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont, Delaware, Kansas, Montana, New Jersey all restrict wearing campaign apparel, buttons, stickers and placards within a proximity of the polling location, (NCSL.org)
“The basic idea is that once you enter the polling place, it’s this sacred place where you can find Nirvana and vote for your representative,” Jessica Levinson, professor at Loyola Law School and expert on elections, told InStyle.com.
Basically, leave your fashionable cap full of pins broadcasting your affiliate with whichever political party, at home. Speaking of caps, you might see a few floating MAGA hats online to vote because rocking a campaign slogan to the polls isn’t against the law. (Be prepared, sis).
However, poll workers have permission to ask you to remove or cover an article of clothing within a designated area if they feel it is a form of campaigning. “If the person is actually campaigning for a candidate (and) causing a disturbance, the poll workers can have the person removed,” John Conklin, a spokesman for the state Board of Elections, said in an e-mail to DemocratAndChronicle.com in 2016.
With voter suppression at an all-time high, you don’t want anything to deter you from casting your ballot. So what can you wear?
A Tennessee poll worker was fired, earlier in this election cycle, for turning away voters who wore “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breath” shirts to the polls. Tennessee law prohibits voters from wearing the name of a candidate or a political party in a polling place, but not statements, Shelby County Election Commission spokeswoman Suzanne Thompson told CBSNews.
Sport A Color
With red and blue being significant colors symbolizing the republican and democratic party, you’ll make a big statement if you show up to the polls rocking a blue or red fit.
The COVID 19 pandemic won’t stop us from flexing our right to vote in one of the most important elections of our life. While Trump may not like to wear masks and often encourages his followers not to, don’t get caught at the polling place without your face covering. And since statements like this black fist aren’t against the law, you can make a fashion statement with your mask while following pandemic guidelines.
Let’s not forget the remaining population who didn’t vote early will be flocking to the polls in droves. You may be waiting in long lines to vote so dress comfortably, ie: sneakers and something warm as November brings colder temperatures. It’s the perfect time to rock your new Ivy Park hoodie.
Overall, be safe. With Trump emboldening alt-right groups like “the proud boys” to “stand back and stand by,” there’s no telling the lengths they’ll go to keep their president in office. Keep your cellphone charged and bring a pencil just in case. It could come in handy to avoid touching a screen until you get home to wash your hands.