May 31, 2017

End Minnesota’s Political Apparel Ban

By End Minnesota’s Political Apparel Ban

Minnesota is taking the ban on campaigning in polling places too far. This violation of free speech puts too much power in the hands of election managers to decide what is an acceptable political statement during voting. The law turns voters who wear tee shirts that have slight, sometimes unintentional, political statements on their clothing, into criminals.

With the help of Pacific Legal Foundation, the Minnesota Voters Alliance is taking on this unconstitutional law.

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Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky

On February 28, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in our case challenging a Minnesota election law that literally strips free speech rights from the backs of voters. A Minnesota state law prohibits voters from wearing “political” apparel at a polling place. This includes any t-shirt, button, or other item that identifies any political issue and even any organization that is known to take positions on political issues. Voters who wear AFL-CIO or NRA caps are told they must remove them before they can enter the polling place and vote. If they refuse, election officials take their names for possible prosecution and penalties up to $5,000. Lower courts upheld this law on the theory that government can ban all expression, besides voting, at a polling place.

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