What Is Illegal To Wear At The Polling Stations In Amarillo
I was surprised to find out that wearing certain things at a polling station is illegal in Amarillo and all over the USA. Wearing anything that supports a candidate, which includes hats, t-shirts or buttons while voting is illegal. Now during the pandemic that rule applies to face masks as well. According to the law, “a person may not electioneer for or against any candidate, measure, or political party” within 100 feet of a polling place. All those political signs outside are still visible, but are checked for correct distance.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an electioneering ban at polling places in 1992, meaning that states could create laws to prevent voter intimidation and ban electioneering around polling places.
Electioneering specifically includes advocating “for or against any political candidate, measure or political party.”
According to the Texas secretary of state’s office, voting clerks and election officials dictate what counts as electioneering and have the authority to enforce there is no electioneering in that area.
However within 100 feet of the polls, electioneering is not allowed. But outside of that boundary, campaigns are free to wave signs, hand out fliers, advocate for proposals and wear whatever campaign gear they want.
Texas State Law states:
“…a person may not wear a badge, insignia, emblem, or other similar communicative device relating to a candidate, measure, or political party appearing on the ballot, or to the conduct of the election, in the polling place’
In 2016, a San Antonio man wore a T-shirt and hat supporting Donald Trump. He removed the hat, but not the “Basket of Deplorables” shirt. He was arrested on electioneering charges.