It is election season.  The midterms are coming up next week and early voting has already begun. Passions are running high on all sides.  Almost every other commercial on t.v. is a campaign commercial.

Photo by Unseen Histories on Unsplash
Photo by Unseen Histories on Unsplash
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Voting is an important civic duty. What many people don't realize is, there IS a voting dress code in Texas.  No, we're not talking about what brands you wear to the polls. It is a different kind of dress code.

All states have some restrictions when it comes to voting in person. Most states also have rules about actively campaigning within a certain distance from the polling place. Many states, including Texas, also have extended that rule to include a dress code.

Banned apparel items vary from state to state. Here in Texas, the law states:

"a person may not wear a badge, insignia, emblem, or other similar communicative device relating to a candidate, measure, or political party appearing on the ballot, or to the conduct of the election, in the polling place."

Texas voters will likely notice a cone or other distance market at 100 feet from the entrance of any building where voting takes place. Inside that mark, you are not allowed to post, use or distribute any political signs or literature relating to a candidate, political party, or measure appearing on your ballot.

Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash
Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash
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Within that distance, you are also not allowed to wear any apparel or a similar communicative device relating to a candidate, measure, or political party appearing on the ballot in the current election.  You CAN wear such apparel relating to any candidate, measure, or political party that does NOT appear on the ballot in the current election.

Candidate political garb isn't the only thing that can be construed as electioneering in Texas.  In 2021 a woman in Williamson County was asked to cover up her shirt at the polls that read "Vote the Bible". It's not just a warning.  People have been arrested in Texas for violating this law. In Bulverde, a man who showed up at his polling location wearing a Trump hat and "Basket of Deplorables" T-shirt was arrested.

People voting in booths
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In addition, it is illegal in Texas to use any "wireless communication device" or "any mechanical or electronic means of recording images or sound" within 100 feet of a voting station.

"This means taking a selfie while voting in person is illegal in Texas. Absentee Ballot Selfies are legal. Although, the Secretary of State's office recommends you should be careful not to share any information you don't want public."

By all means, wear some comfortable shoes to the polls, because we all know lines can be long on Election Day. Leave the political buttons and clothing at home.

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