Texas voter turned away from polling place over 2nd Amendment shirt

Is advertising the Second Amendment “electioneering?”

Some primary poll workers in Texas think so.

2ndamend0223Texas resident Chris Driskill was turned away from the Waller County Courthouse polls on Tuesday because he wore a T-shirt adorned front and back with the words “2nd Amendment – America’s Original Homeland Security” encircling a skull and crossbones that were really crossed shotguns, according to KHOU, a CBS affiliate in Houston.

The primary ballot includes a question: “Texas should support Second Amendment liberties by expanding locations where concealed handgun license-holders may legally carry. YES / NO” and Driskill said polling workers considered his T-shirt to be a form of campaigning, or electioneering, which is banned within 100 feet of a polling station by Texas law.

Driskill was allowed to vote after a Republican candidate outside the polling place loaned him a suit coat to cover up the shirt.

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The law cuts both ways. The KHOU report cited a 2010 case where a supporter of President Obama was turned away from a voting place in Houston because she was wearing an Obama T-shirt from 2008. Though Obama himself wasn’t on the ballot that year, poll workers said his position as head of the Democratic Party made a shirt carrying his likeness a form of campaigning.

Driskill told KHOU he was a little put off by the experience at first, but could understand the poll workers’ point. The larger point, he said, was to make his voice heard.

“If you have to turn around and go change shirts, you know, so be it,” he said. “But get out and vote.”

Check out the KHOU report here.

CORRECTION: This article originally identified KHOU as an ABC affiliate.


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