No, you can’t wear a politically-themed face mask to the polls

Wearing campaign gear is a form of electioneering, according to Texas law

Harris County election clerk Nora Martinez, left, helps a voter, Monday, June 29, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – While voters are encouraged to wear a face mask when they cast a ballot in the runoff election, they cannot be political, according to state law.

On Tuesday, voters will decide who will clinch their party’s nomination in a handful of races.

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With the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, public officials have asked voters to take every precaution when going to the polls to reduce the spread of COVID-19, like wearing a face covering. However, voters are not required to wear one. Election officials also wear face masks and provide sanitizer and a glove to voters.

Face masks, like other clothing, are subject to the law on electioneering according to the Texas Secretary of State website. Wearing campaign gear within 100 feet of an entrance to a polling place is prohibited.

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“If a voter is wearing a face mask that qualifies as electioneering for or against any candidate, measure, or political party, the election judge may ask the voter to place a cover over the mask or provide the voter with a disposable face mask to be worn over the electioneering mask,” according to the website.

Violating the law would result in a class-C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500.

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