Saturday, June 17, 2017

Minnesota Bans Political T-Shirts In Polling Places No Matter How Ambiguous The Message

Source: Pacific Legal Foundation

Minnesota Statute 211B.11 prohibits voters from wearing any 'political badge, political button, or other political insignia' within 100 feet of a polling place. The law was meant to deter people from campaigning in polling places, but its scope is so broad that it even prohibits shirts that aren't inscribed with a particular candidate, but that express a philosophical idea such as freedom of speech. Essentially any apparel that could possibly be interpreted as a political message is banned from polling places. If a statute prohibits more activities than it was intended to it should either be scrapped altogether or amendment to make the language clearer. The color red could be interpreted as the political insignia of the Republican Party, but it would be absurd to prohibit voters from wearing red to polling places. For this reason, the Pacific Legal Foundation has asked the Supreme Court to review this statute and hopefully overturn the decision of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals who upheld the restriction.

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