A Houston-area man was temporarily prevented from voting because he was wearing a pro-Second Amendment T-shirt at the polls.
Once the wardrobe malfunction was corrected, however, he was permitted to cast a ballot.
Gun enthusiast Chris Driskill went down to the local courthouse to vote in the Republican primary (Texas has early voting). He happened to be wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “2nd Amendment — America’s original homeland security.”
Ordinarily those words or any kind of ideological logs would likely be protected against government censorship by the First Amendment as a form of “speech,” but not in the immediate voting area.
An election worker told him that he couldn’t vote unless he turned the shirt inside out or he had to go home without doing so. Driskill at first assumed that he was dealing with an anti-gun person who was turning him away, but that turned out to not be the case.
Texas law, and the law of most states, prohibits any campaigning — which includes the candidates themselves, volunteers holding signs, and apparently even clothes with political messaging or slogans — within 100 feet of the polling place. It happens that the Texas primary ballot also contains a proposition “on expanded support for the Second Amendment and the places where a concealed weapon can be legally carried,” making the gun rights shirt even more of political issue.
Violation of the law about campaigning to close to a polling place is a Class C misdemeanor in the Lone Star state.
A local Republican candidate subsequently loaned Driskilll his suit coat, and with the perceived electioneering properly covered up, he went ahead and voted.
Early voting in Texas runs from February 18 to February 28. Primary Day is March 4. Said Driskill about his experience: “If you have to turn around and go change shirts, you know, so be it. But get out and vote, and show your support everywhere you can for the Second Amendment.”
In October 2013, as The Inquisitr previously reported, a Calif. high school apologized to Haley Bullwinkle, 16, for initially making her change to a different shirt from the one that promoted the National Rifle Association.