Tea Partiers — or supporters of any political cause or candidate — will be allowed to wear their gear to the polls in Maricopa County, the Arizona Republic reports.
After a federal judge decided on Monday that “‘tea party’ T-shirt or any apparel that does not express support for or opposition to” a candidate, proposition or political party on the ballot should be allowed, a Maricopa County election official said she would not be able to retrain poll workers less than a day before the election. So Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell told the Arizona Republic she’ll let any apparel in.
“We’re doing the best we can … but I’m too short of time to try to get … to the poll workers at this late date,” Purcell said.
“What about someone wearing something (that supports a candidate) running for some legislative district (the poll worker) is not familiar with? How can I say it’s OK if they let that through but then not some other (more prominent) candidate? I can’t discriminate. I have to allow it all. I don’t know of any other fair way. I wish I did,” Purcell said.
The anti-immigration Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been actively electioneering, sending an email earlier this week asking supporters to “join me today and help me STOP ILLEGALS FROM STEALING THIS ELECTION!”
Meanwhile, a Tea Party affiliated group in Minnesota is telling supporters to ignore a ban held up by a federal judge against Tea Party gear and anti-voter fraud buttons at the polls.