Sunday, November 04, 2012
Texas woman forced to cover up 'Vote the Bible' T-shirt at polls
State law trumps the 1st Amendment?
A Texas woman claims she was told that her "Vote the Bible" T-shirt may be offensive and was forced to cover up when she went to vote early at the City Hall in Taylor County, Texas last week, MyFoxAustin.com reported.
Attorney Jonathan Seinz, the president of Texas Values, says Kay Hill was ‘targeted because of her religious beliefs.’ He says he's prepared to defend Hill because he believes she was asked to give up her religious freedom in order to vote.
"This is obviously a religious free expression and no one should be put in a position having to choose religious freedom over deciding to vote," he said.
According to Texas law, a person cannot suggest how another person should vote by word, sign or gesture while in a polling place.
Williamson County said its poll volunteers were following state election laws, and besides there's only one word on that shirt that they have a problem with.
"The shirt did say vote so it did have to do with voting," said Williamson County Public Affairs Director Connie Watson.
Watson says the shirt violates state laws regarding elections.
"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," said Watson.
Seinz argues that Hill's shirt did none of that. "Nothing says that you can't have a shirt that says vote the Bible. The last time I checked Republicans and Democrats, it's not a partisan issue on the bible," Seinz said.
An election worker gave Hill a jacket to cover up the T-shirt. In the end, she was able to vote.
Seinz says if Williamson County doesn't apologize to Hill and allow the shirt to be worn to the polls, they will file a formal complaint with the Attorney General.