I’ve lurked here for over a year and actually never intended to write a diary. I only just recently started commenting. But I saw a comment at Huffington Post that put me on alert about voters possibly being turned away from polling places if they are wearing Obama gear, e.g., shirts, pins, hats, etc., and decided to pass it on, along with an idea to help out those who may not be aware that they could be turned away because of their shirts.
A commenter at Huffington Post recounted an email she received, warning her that she absolutely must NOT wear any Obama gear to the polls:
"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."
One person commented in reply that no one working at the polls can have campaign material on them inside and no one can have campaign literature in hand when entering the voting booth, but that a voter could wear whatever they wanted. But another person reported that this was addressed on The Michael Baisden radio show (don’t know who he is) and that in many places this will be the case (they will be turned away). It wouldn't surprise me.
My solution is pretty simple. I work from home and have a flexible work schedule, so I will be able to vote early and can actually stick around a while. I will be taking with me every plain T shirt I can lay my hands on to stash in my car in case I see anyone actually turned away for wearing an Obama shirt. Hats and pins can be easily and quickly discarded, but shirts are different, so I figure if I see that happening I can lend someone a T shirt to wear over theirs and they can turn right around and go back in to vote. I really don't expect to see this happening at my small town polling location, but I put NOTHING past the republicans, especially now, and I want to be prepared, just in case.