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What NOT To Wear To The Polls: Anything That Supports A Candidate

By Heather Cherone | November 7, 2016 1:57pm
 Electioneering is illegal. But what counts as partisan garb?
Electioneering is illegal. But what counts as partisan garb?
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CHICAGO — Leave your new favorite "Stronger Together" T-shirt or "Make America Great Again" hat at home when you head to the polls on Election Day, officials said Monday.

State election law prohibits electioneering — the act of campaigning — inside all polling places and within a 100-yard radius surrounding the polling places that are set to open at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Listen to Heather talk about the do's and don'ts of poll place fashion.

The presidential contest between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton is expected to draw most of the attention.

The ban includes hats and T-shirts with messages that support — or oppose — any candidate on the ballot, Cook County Clerk David Orr said Monday. And in this buzzword-filled election in a hashtag-friendly era, there are numerous slogans and catchphrases that have ended up on clothing: none of which are allowed inside a polling place.

The ban on electioneering extends to clothing or items with slogans aligned with — or against — the candidates during an election, including phrases by the candidates: like when Clinton referred to some supporters of her opponents as being in a "basket of deplorables," or when Trump called his opponent a "nasty woman" in the final presidential debate, officials said.

Election judges have the ultimate power to decide what is — and what is not acceptable — within each polling place, Orr said. 

"Nasty Woman" or "Basket of Deplorables" T-shirts, if deemed inappropriate, may need to be covered, or could, at worst, result in the wearer's ejection from the building.

In an effort to signal their support for Clinton without getting in trouble, some women are planning to wear pantsuits to polls and celebrate their first vote for a woman to be president.

Trump supporters are encouraging each other to wear red to the polls.

Elections officials are prepared for any shenanigans at the polls on Election Day, but dismissed Trump's claims that a "rigged election" could cost him the presidency.

Approximately 500 investigators will be on duty Tuesday to ensure the elections run smoothly.

"This has been a stressful election season for everyone," Hernandez said. "Everyone has the right to cast their vote free of harassment or intimidation."

All polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Complaints can be made to each polling place's head election judge and by calling 312-269-7870, officials said.

"We are very confident in the integrity of this election," said Jim Allen, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

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