Whether you’re voting for President Donald Trump or Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Americans must be careful of one thing Tuesday.
Watch what you wear when you go to vote.
You just might be living in a state where a MAGA hat or a Biden t-shirt could disqualify you from voting. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states don’t allow campaign signs, banners, and literature within a specific vicinity of their respective polls.
15 states on the list forbid campaign apparel entirely. No buttons, stickers or placards either.
That means residents of Arkansas, California, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee must carefully consider what to wear this Tuesday… or they could be turned away from the polls.
However, the restrictions by state vary. For example, Texas is prohibiting voters to promote campaign materials within less than “100 ft. of an outside door through which a voter may enter a building in which a polling place is located.”
Utah, on the other hand, mandates that no voter come within 150 ft. of a “building where a polling place is located.”
These small nuances in poll statutes by state may add confusion to an election already made complex by the global pandemic.
But that’s not all.
The guidelines on electioneering apparel are hyper-specific to each state as well. In other words, some of the laws that exist are regulated down to the very text that one might have on his or her shirt. Although California largely prohibits Americans from wearing campaign apparel, it will allow Make America Great Again, Keep America Great, and Black Lives Matters apparel.
The rules are a bit tighter in Maine.
According to its code, the state disallows “…campaign literature, posters, palm cards, buttons, badges or stickers containing a candidate’s name or otherwise intending to influence the opinion of any voter regarding a candidate for an office or question that is on the ballot for the election that day.” The state does, however, allows exceptions for campaign buttons that do not exceed 3 inches.
You can access state by state guidelines by clicking here.
The Horn editorial team