Internet rumors have a way of spreading like wildfire. Only this time, what’s nothing more than a political hoax is causing much water-cooler conversation and controversy among Barack Obama supporters.
This week such an e-mail thread arrived in many of our inboxes. It announced that Obama supporters are dissuaded from wearing pins, hats, shirts or any other paraphernalia representing the presidential hopeful when they go to the polls in November. The rumor is that the law states that doing so is a form of solicitation and as a result, polling officials will not allow you to vote.
Internet urban-legend killer Snopes.com, states that the issue is confusing. State and even sometimes county laws do prohibit electioneering where voters aren’t allowed to overtly post signs, banners, or hand out literature. But some states have in fact banned “passive electioneering” like wearing buttons.
“Voting is a fundamental right in this country, and no one should have that right taken away based on what they wear to the polls,” says Obama spokesperson Corey Ealons. “As long as you're not campaigning inside the polls, be proud. Show up. Your vote is your voice.”
Voters are advised to also contact their local polling places and find out what are the rules for their state or to make sure that whatever Obama or John McCain item worn is easily removed before you go behind the curtain.