Email rumor warns Barack Obama supporters not to wear Obama shirts, pins, hats, or other paraphernalia to polling places because it is considered campaigning (electioneering) under the law and grounds for officials to turn voters away.
Description: Email rumor
Circulating since: Sep. 2008
Status: Varies by state
Email contributed by Elena W., Sep. 23, 2008:
Campaigning at the Polls
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ADVISE EVERYONE YOU KNOW THAT THEY ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT GO TO THE POLLS WEARING ANY OBAMA SHIRTS, PINS OR HATS. IT IS AGAINST THE LAW AND WILL BE GROUNDS TO HAVE THE POLLING OFFICIALS TO TURN YOU AWAY.
THAT IS CONSIDERED CAMPAIGNING AND NO ONE CAN CAMPAIGN WITHIN X AMOUNT OF FEET TO THE POLLS. THEY ARE BANKING ON US BEING EXCITED AND NOT BEING AWARE OF THIS LONG STANDING LAW THAT YOU CAN BET WILL BE ENFORCED THIS YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THEY ARE BANKING THAT IF YOU ARE TURNED AWAY YOU WILL NOT GO HOME AND CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES. PLEASE JUST DON'T WEAR OBAMA GEAR OF ANY SORTS TO THE POLLS!! PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION.
OH, AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO WERE ALREADY AWARE, THIS WAS NOT MEANT TO INSULT YOUR INTELLIGENCE, JUST TRYING TO COVER ALL GROUNDS.
Please pass this on to others on your mailing lists!
Email contributed by Thomas L., Sep. 24, 2008:
There is a story going round that the white people want to send black people back from the polls for wearing t-shirts etc. supporting Obama because it is against the law to campaign within 100 feet of a polling place. We know there is a law about campaigning within 100 ft of a polling place, but can you stop someone from wearing political memorabilia?
Email contributed by Kenneth D., Sep. 24, 2008:
Subject: DON'T WEAR OBAMA PARAPHENALIA TO VOTE!! IT'S AGAINST THE LAW!!
Regardless of your candidate this is important information. With the number of younger voters this will be an issue.
Please get this information out to everyone you know! "The people perish for lack of knowledge!"
"DO NOT" wear any OBAMA Paraphernalia to the Voting Polls!!!!
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ADVISE EVERYONE YOU KNOW THAT THEY ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT GO TO THE POLLS WEARING ANY OBAMA SHIRTS, PINS OR HATS, IT IS AGAINST THE LAW AND WILL BE GROUNDS TO HAVE THE POLLING OFFICIALS TO TURN YOU AWAY. THAT IS CONSIDERED CAMPAIGNING AND NO ONE CAN CAMPAIGN WITHIN 100 FEET TO THE POLLS. THEY'RE BANKING ON US BEING EXCITED AND NOT BEING AWARE OF THIS LONG STANDING LAW THAT YOU CAN BET WILL BE ENFORCED THIS YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THEY ARE HOPING THAT IF YOU ARE TURNED AWAY YOU WILL NOT GO HOME, CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES AND COME BACK IN TIME TO VOTE.. PLEASE JUST DON'T WEAR OBAMA GEAR OF ANY SORTS TO THE POLLS!! PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION, OH AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO WERE ALRE ADY AWARE, THIS WAS NOT MEANT TO INSULT YOUR INTELLIGENCE. JUST TRYING TO COVER ALL GROUNDS.
FROM THE CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE VOTER FRAUD PROTECTION HANDBOOK:
When I went into my polling booth, I noticed a little pencil with a candidateʼs name on it urging voters to be sure and mark the box for him. Can they do that?
No, it is illegal to have items with a candidateʼs name on them in the polling place. This constitutes electioneering and any electioneering must be conducted a minimum of 100 feet from the place where people are voting. Sometimes, a voter inadvertently leaves such materials in the voting booth. (EC §18370)
A lady working at my polling place last Election Day was wearing a T-shirt that said "Down with Liberals" on it. Can she wear that?
Because such a t-shirt doesnʼt actually advocate voting for or against a particular candidate or measure, itʼs not considered electioneering. If the shirt had a statement for or against something or someone on the ballot, it would not be allowed within 100 feet of the polls. If the elections official is aware of the situation, he or she will likely request that the woman cover it up or change into something that does not cause the slightest appearance of partisanship. (EC §18370, 18541, 18546)
Analysis: Laws against campaigning or "electioneering" in and around polling places are pretty much universal, though each state boasts its own specific regulations and varying degrees of enforcement.
The majority of states use language prohibiting voters and poll workers from "distributing," "circulating," "posting," or "exhibiting" campaign materials within 10 to 200 feet of polling places. This is sometimes interpreted as including buttons, t-shirts, hats, and other political garb (often called "passive electioneering"), but is more often restricted to signs, posters, fliers, pamphlets, and the like.
At least 10 states -- Delaware, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont -- explicitly prohibit the wearing of pins, buttons, stickers, labels, or other "political insignia."