A Texas man was arrested after refusing to turn his pro-Donald Trump T-shirt inside out when he went to vote on Monday.
Brett Mauthe was arrested in Bulverde on a charge of electioneering, which applies to more than just people who stand outside polling places holding signs, according to KSAT 12 News.
Mauthe, 55, told KSAT that he was wearing a hat supporting the GOP nominee and a T-shirt with the words “Basket of deplorables,” referring to Hillary Clinton’s infamous comment about Trump supporters.
He told the station that he complied with a request by poll officials to remove his hat but refused to turn his shirt inside out, adding that he was not aware that his attire was a violation of the election code.
“It can mean a T-shirt, a button, a hat, you know?” Cynthia Jaqua, Comal County’s election coordinator, said. “Anything related to the voting, the party, the candidate.”
The rule seemed to be a surprise to other voters as well.
“I don’t feel like you should be preaching to anybody, but I do feel like you should be able to wear a shirt if you want and if it has the candidate,” Georgina Pereida said Wednesday after casting her vote. “I’m kind of shocked, because I think that’s part of the freedoms that we’re voting for.”
But Jose Tovar believes it’s the responsibility of every voter to be informed, according to KSAT.
“If you’re 18 and vote, you know the rules and regulations,” he said.
Jaqua told MySanAntonio.com that it is unusual for an arrest to be made on an electioneering charge, but Mauthe’s attire was a violation of the code.
“Electioneering is prohibited within a 100-foot marker. You cannot express views for or against a candidate or political party by wearing buttons, T-shirts, hats, whatever else or carrying signs,” she said. “This is the first time I recall someone getting arrested.”
Mauthe was released on $500 bond for the misdemeanor charge which carries a possible fine of $500.
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