Electioneering: State Statutes on Apparel in Polling Places

10/14/2020

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Each state has some form of restriction on political activities near polling places on election days.

These restrictions usually include limiting the display of signs, handing out campaign literature or soliciting votes within a pre-determined distance (typically 50 to 200 feet) of a polling place. Some states also address what apparel voters can wear within polling places (read NCSL's blog on the electioneering apparel case that made it to the Supreme Court).

The table below provides additional information for the 21 states that have statutory restrictions on apparel in the polling place. If you know something that we don't have included, please let us know.

Table 1: State Statutes on Electioneering Apparel

State

Statute

Prohibits

Arkansas § 7-1-103(8)

"(d) Displaying a candidate's name, likeness, or logo;

(e) Displaying a ballot measure's number, title, subject, or logo;
(f) Displaying or dissemination of buttons, hats, pencils, pens, shirts, signs, or stickers containing electioneering information."

California

§ 319.5

“(a) A display of a candidate’s name, likeness, or logo.

(b) A display of a ballot measure’s number, title, subject, or logo.

(c) Buttons, hats, pencils, pens, shirts, signs, or stickers containing electioneering information.”

Delaware

Title 15, § 4942

“the wearing of any button, banner or other object referring to issues, candidates or partisan topics…”

Indiana § 3-14-3-16 "wearing or displaying an article of clothing, sign, button, or placard that states the name of any political party or includes the name, picture, photograph, or other likeness of any currently elected federal, state, county, or local official."

Kansas

§ 25-2430(a)

“wearing, exhibiting or distributing labels, signs, posters, stickers or other materials that clearly identify a candidate in the election or clearly indicate support or opposition to a question submitted election within any polling place”

Maine § 682

"...campaign literature, posters, palm cards, buttons, badges or stickers containing a candidate's name or otherwise intending to influence the opinion of any voter regarding a candidate for an office or question that is on the ballot for the election that day." The statute provides an exception for campaign buttons that do not exceed 3 inches and are worn by people at the polling place solely for the purpose of voting.

Michigan § 168.744 "...any material that directly or indirectly makes reference to an election, a candidate, or a ballot question."
Minnesota § 211B.11 "A political badge, political button, or other political insignia may not be worn at or about the polling place on primary or election day."

Montana

§ 13-35-211(1)

“any badge, button, or other insignia that is designed or tends to aid or promote the success or defeat of any candidate or ballot issue to be voted upon at the election.”

Nebraska § 32 154

"...the deliberate, visible display or audible or physical dissemination of information for the purpose of advocating for or against [a candidate,] including
"(i) Such a candidate's name, likeness, logo, or symbol;

(ii) Such a ballot measure's number, title, subject matter, logo, or symbol;

(iii) A button, hat, pencil, pen, shirt, sign, or sticker containing information prohibited by this section."

Nevada 293.740 "...Buying, selling, wearing or displaying any badge, button or other insigne which is designed or tends to aid or promote the success or defeat of any political party or a candidate or ballot question to be voted upon at that election."
New Hampshire 659:43 "The distribution or posting of electioneering communications, including but not limited to posters, cards, handbills, placards, pictures, pins, stickers, circulars, or articles of clothing, is prohibited within any no-electioneering corridor..."

New Jersey

§ 19:34-19

“display, sell, give or provide any political badge, button or other insignia to be worn…”

New Mexico § 1-20-16 "the display or distribution of signs or campaign literature, campaign buttons, t-shirts, hats, pins or other such items..."

New York

§ 8-104(1)

“…no political banner, button, poster or placard shall be allowed in or upon the polling place…”

North Dakota § 16.1-10-03 "No such political badge, button, or insignia may be worn within that same area while a polling place is open for voting."
Rhode Island § 19-49 "...any political party button, badge, or other device..."

South Carolina

§ 7-25-180(B)

“If the candidate enters the polling place, he may not display any of this identification including, but not limited to, campaign stickers or buttons.”

Tennessee

§ 2-7-111(b)(1)

“the display of campaign posters, signs or other campaign materials, distribution of campaign materials, and solicitation of votes for or against any person, political party, or position on a question are prohibited.”

Texas

§ 61.010(a)

“…a person may not wear a badge, insignia, emblem, or other similar communicative device relating to a candidate, measure, or political party appearing on the ballot, or to the conduct of the election, in the polling place’

Vermont

Title 17, § 2508(a)

“…no campaign literature, stickers, buttons, name stamps, information on write-in candidates, or other political materials are displayed, placed, handed out, or allowed to remain.”

 

For comments or questions, please contact NCSL's election team.