It’s expected that young people could make a big impact in these midterm elections. And we should begin hearing about some serious patterns, now that early voting is underway. There has long been talk about rocking the vote, but be careful: that t-shirt you’re rockin’ could get you in trouble. Same goes tor that red hat, depending on what it says on the front.
Brianna Stone, a reporter for The Dallas Morning News, says there are specific rules about what can be worn inside or near a polling place. Items supporting candidates are not allowed, and you can’t tout your political party or favorite ballot proposition either.
“The term that the state uses is ‘electioneering,'” Stone says. “And that’s anything the caters to a campaign, a political party or a candidate.”
If you do arrive sporting political apparel, the election judge running the polling place can ask you to leave, to take off the item, or, in the case of a t-shirt, turn it inside out so that its message can’t be seen. Electioneering at the polls is a misdemeanor offense.
Stone says you’re also not allowed to be on your cell phone at the polls.
“That means no taking selfies of your ballot, or texting, or anything while you’re at the polling location,” she says.
You’re also not allowed to use your phone for research or to consult notes while you’re in the voting booth.
Many polling places are located inside supermarkets or other buildings where people not participating in the election are present. Stone says that whether you’re voting or not, you should stay outside the lines that indicate you’re within 100 feet of a polling location, if you are wearing items that are prohibited at the polls.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.