Be An Activist, But Don't Dress Like One
Some sage words of caution from one of our Environmental Program Coordinators here at Patagonia. Please remember to Vote the Environment tomorrow, but don't let your enthusiasm be the reason anyone stops you from casting your ballot. The original message follows:
A last-minute election heads-up -
Many of us have received news alerts or emails with stories of people being turned away at the polls for wearing t-shirts, hats, buttons, etc. endorsing particular political candidates. Many states do have bans on "electioneering" as it's called, and in some states you won't be allowed within 100 ft. of a polling place if you are wearing these items. The rules vary from state to state, and even county to county - so, our recommendation is this:
Don't risk it: leave your campaign t-shirts, hats, buttons and other stuff at home when you go to the polls to vote - it may save you some irritation or even a trip home to change!
Here's a link to a CNN article about the controversy in Virginia.
While it's easy to see why some would chafe at the thought of being told what to wear, the article points out this "electioneering" rule stems from a desire on the part of individual states to create safe polling areas. Legal experts confirm that in this situation, such a rule does not violate our First Amendment rights. Feelings about personal expression aside, one thing is clear: November 4th is the one day you don't want to be denied your voting voice.
[Photos: Top - Not a good wardrobe choice for polling day. Bottom - Another reason to Vote the Environment.]