Wearing T-shirts, buttons or hats supporting political candidates at the polls is illegal. But in the pandemic era, voters are now being reminded that the electioneering rules also apply to face masks.
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.
“It’s really a protected area that should be just focused on providing the access to the ballot and voting processes without any kind of interruption or any kind of chaos, or stress, or concerns,” said Bruce Sherbet, elections administrator for Collin County.
For years, election officials have had to ask voters to turn their political shirts inside out and leave their accessories in the car. This election cycle, poll workers are also dealing with political messages on some face masks intended to protect voters from the coronavirus.
Sherbet said Collin County judges this year are offering plain disposable masks to cover the political ones, he said.
“We strongly encourage masks, so if someone is wearing them, we don’t want to be too inconvenient with it as long as they can just cover it up,” Sherbet said.
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.