Just received this press release from Texas Values. Apparently a voter in Williamson County could not wear her "Vote the Bible" shirt because it "may be offensive to some people." Now having worked as an election judge myself, I know that election workers cannot allow any campaigning inside the polling site, and I occasionally had to ask folks to change t-shirts that mentioned a candidate. But according to this story, the woman's t-shirt wasn't deemed electioneering, just offensive to those who don't believe in the First Amendment.
“Vote the Bible” T-Shirt Banned In A Texas County, Called “Offensive”
Texas Values Assists Intimidated Voter Forced to Cover Up Her Religious T-Shirt Before Voting
Austin, TX, October 31, 2012--During early voting last week, a Texas voter in Williamson County was banned from wearing a t-shirt with the words “Vote the Bible” printed on the front. On October 24, Williamson County election workers at the Taylor City Hall polling place told Kay Hill that before she would be allowed to vote she had to turn her shirt inside out, go home and change, or cover up the words “Vote the Bible” because they “may be offensive to some people.”
After voicing disagreement numerous times, Ms. Hill ultimately complied and was forced to cover up the words “Vote the Bible.” Williamson County election workers provided her with an election worker’s jacket to cover up the “offensive” words. Ms. Hill later spoke with Williamson County Election Administrator Rick Barron who confirmed that the election workers could make this decision to ban the words “Vote the Bible.”
“It’s outrageous that a person of faith would be mistreated this way while trying to vote. If this isn’t voter intimidation, I don’t know what is?” said Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values. “We hope Williamson County officials step up and put an end to this injustice immediately. No one else should have to suffer the humiliation, embarrassment and intimidation that Ms. Hill endured. No one should be asked to give up their religious freedom in order to vote,” said Saenz.
Texas Values is assisting Ms. Hill in asking Williamson County to end this unfair policy immediately. Texas Values has also requested that Williamson County issue an apology to Ms. Hill and circulate instructions to all Williamson County election workers and polling places that it is permissible to vote while wearing a t-shirt with the words “Vote the Bible.”
Ms. Hill is prepared to file a formal complaint with the Texas Secretary of State’s office if Williamson County refuses to remedy this situation by 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 1, 2012.
The letter sent to Williamson County can be found here.
UPDATE: Apparently while you can't wear a "Vote the Bible" shirt inside the polling site, the NAACP can completely take over a polling site and openly engage in electioneering. Full story here...