Polling Place Confusion
Tonight in our 11pm newscast I am reporting on a concern among voters in Virginia about the wearing of campaign related clothing and apparel on the day of the vote. There are quite a few widely dispersed emails throughout Central Virginia warning people if they wear gear supporting a candidate they could at best be denied the right to vote and at worst even arrested. Tonight we are using my “Reality Check” segment to cut through to the truth related to this rumor.
The basics are, that according to Virginia Law no campaign material is allowed within 40 feet of the polling location. Where the confusion comes in, is that the law is enforced at the discretion of each election district. So what could be campaign material in one spot (ie: a shirt, a hat or a button) may be interpreted differently somewhere else.
However, what is not in danger is your right to vote. There is also no chance that you may face criminal charges. Polling place officials will simply ask you to remove the clothing before you go into vote. As long as you comply with the law, your vote is safe.
Generally a good rule is, keep your gear at home and wear it to your victory party later that night.
There is an interesting back story as to what precipitated this confusion, which I will share with you tomorrow, in addition to a look at what are plans are to cover the first debate (if it even happens).