Christian group fights Texas for banning ‘Vote the Bible’ shirt at polls
A Christian group in Texas is threatening to file a formal complaint with the Attorney General’s office because a woman who lives near Austin was forced to cover up her “Vote the Bible” T-shirt after election officials suggested that it could be construed as illegal electioneering.
In a complaint to the Williamson Country Election Administrator, Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz said that Ms. Alva “Kay” Hill was told that her shirt “may be offensive” because it was an implicit suggestion to “vote Republican.”
Texas Election Code § 85.036 states that “a person may not electioneer for or against any candidate, measure, or political party in or within 100 feet” of a polling place.
Hill was permitted to vote after an election worker gave her a jacket to cover up the T-shirt.
Saenz is now demanding that the Williamson Country Election Office release a public statement that “Vote the Bible” T-shirts are allowed in polling places, inform poll workers and publicly apologize to Hill for the “embarrassment, humiliation and intimidation.”
But Williamson County Public Affairs Director Connie Watson told KTBC that poll workers were simply following Texas election law.
“The shirt did say vote so it did have to do with voting,” she explained. “Electioneering or loitering within 100 feet of the entrance to the polling place or inside the polling place is not allowed. Electioneering would cover wearing a hat, a pen, a T-shirt or a sign that would indicate a position for a political party, candidate or a proposition.”
Watch this video from KTBC, broadcast Oct. 31, 2012.