We received an e-mail last week warning us that people who show up at the polls on Election Day could be turned away if they’re wearing T-shirts, buttons or the like that support a particular candidate. To verify the rumor, we called Maggie Toulouse Oliver, the Bernalillo county clerk.
Oliver says this was the case in the past. Voters wearing campaign T-shirts within 100 feet of the polls were asked to turn them inside-out, put buttons in pockets, etc. If people refused to do as requested, they were turned away and asked to come back without campaign paraphernalia.
This may still be the case this year, Oliver says. However, because this election season has seen such a boom in candidate-endorsing merchandise, Oliver says she’s going to speak with the secretary of state to find out how to instruct poll workers. She’s wondering if it may be a freedom of speech issue.
We’ll let you know when a decision is made. But to be safe, we recommend leaving your Obama/McCain/Nader shirts at home when you cast your ballot Nov. 4.