Is it actually illegal to wear political gear at the polls?

What would happen if you showed up on Election Day wearing a MAGA hat?

5 Answers

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  • Daisy
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    It may depend on each individual state. In Ohio, where I live, it is not really "illegal" but it's inappropriate- it's considered electioneering.  The poll workers will ask the voter to remove the gear before giving him/her a ballot.  It's also against the law to stand outside the polling places and canvas for candidates and issues. 

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  • Desire
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You would be thought of as an intelligent voter!!!!

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  • Tmess2
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    It is a matter of state law.  Most states make it illegal to campaign (including wearing political gear) within a certain distance of the precinct.  The penalty depends upon state law.  In some states, the remedy is merely poll workers asking you to leave/stop campaigning, and the only criminal penalty would be for trespass if you refused to comply.  In others, there is a separate penalty for violating the "no campaigning" statute.

    One thing to note is that the last time that the Supreme Court looked at this issue, they held that states could have such bans but that it mattered how clearly the state defined what was not permitted (striking down the state law at issue for being vague).  The MAGA hat is a good example of the need for clarity.  It is certainly a slogan associated with a candidate but it does not name any candidate.  Different people might disagree about whether or not that is political gear/campaigning.  So it is important, that state law give the poll workers guidance on what qualifies so that it is applied equally to both sides.

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  • Jeff D
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    No, as long as the "gear" isn't associated with any particular candidate.  A MAGA hat might be disallowed, but a shirt supporting the NRA or Planned Parenthood would be OK.

    The usual "penalty" is that you'd be required to remove or cover-up said "gear".

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  • 1 month ago

    It varies from state to state but most states prohibit any type of election advertisement within a certain distance of the polling places and in the polling places. A MAGA hat would fit into that category.

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