In October 2014, Breitbart News reported that Douglas County, Georgia’s Bundy Cobb went to the polls for early voting and was told to remove his “NRA Instructor” hat before being allowed to vote. Cobb sued over that demand, and Douglas County Election officials have now issued an apology.
According to My Fox Atlanta, Douglas County officials originally tried to justify the demand that the hat be removed on grounds that “the NRA is often associated with the Republican Party, [and] they did not want the hat to potentially influence other voters at the polling station.” They pointed to a Georgia law which says “no campaigning or campaign materials are allowed within 150 feet of a polling station or within 25 feet of any voter standing in line.”
For this justification to succeed, it would have to be shown that wearing an “NRA Instructor” hat is the very same thing as wearing GOP campaign materials.
Following Cobb’s suit and a subsequent investigation by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, Douglas County Election officials backtracked and issued an apology to Cobb.
The apology, coming straight from the Douglas County Board of Elections and Registration Chairman Bob Camp, said: “I would like to apologize for the incident that occurred when you voted on October 24, 2014, when a poll worker asked you to remove your NRA Instructor hat. You should not have been asked to remove your NRA Instructor hat, and I am sorry you were asked to do so”
The apology was accompanied by “a newly-clarified policy” which says:
Poll workers shall only prohibit clothing, materials and other matter that references a candidate appearing on the ballot, an issue or question on the ballot, and/or a political party on the ballot. Clothing, materials, and other matter that references a person, organization, or viewpoint on an issue that is not currently on the ballot shall not be prohibited.
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