Man Forced To Remove 'Trump 2020' Campaign Shirt Before Voting, Election Board Apologizes

An Arkansas man said polling place staffers forced him to change shirts on Election Day after he showed up in a Trump Campaign 2020 staff t-shirt. 

Scottie Thurman, of Fayetteville, said the Arkansas Secretary of State's office told him it was legal to wear the shirt supporting President Donald Trump because he was not on the ballot for this past Tuesday's midterm elections, KFSM-TV first reported. Thurman said he filed a complaint against the Washington County Clerk's Office after a polling place worker demanded he either hide the pro-Trump campaign shirt while he votes or switch it out with another article of clothing entirely. 

"I go in, and the lady that takes your ID tells me that I need to either remove or turn my shirt inside out to be able to proceed in there and cast my ballot," Thurman told KSFM-TV Tuesday evening. "I didn't think that was right. Which I argued with them a little bit and they broke out a rule book that said any propaganda has to be 100 feet from the door."

Arkansas Trump voter An Arkansas man said polling place staffers forced him to change shirts on Election Day after he showed up in a Trump Campaign 2020 staff t-shirt. Screenshot: KFSM-TV

Thurman was ultimately allowed to vote but only after he changed his shirt before entering the actual voting area. 

Arkansas state law forbids political propaganda from being present at polling places on Election Day, but the Trump shirt fell into a legal caveat because the president was not seeking re-election this year. According to Arkansas state code Arkansas Code Annotated 7-1-104 "It shall be unlawful for any person to attend any polling site on election day and hand out or give away any campaign cards, placards, or other articles for the purpose of influencing the electors to vote for any candidate, except in the manner now provided by law."

In response, Washington County Election Commission Coordinator Jennifer Price told local news outlets that registered and eligible voters "should be able to vote...Our poll workers do their best on Election Day, and many of them are volunteers."

Trump memorabilia including his "Make America Great Again" hats have prompted skirmishes in establishments across the country. In July, a San Antonio teenager had his hat ripped from his head by a Trump critic who screamed "you ain't supporting s**t" and called him a racial slur. 

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