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William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Tag: Burson v. Freeman

Political Attire Bans: What Can You Wear When You Vote?

By: Samantha Becker

On June 14, 2018, the Supreme Court invalidated a Minnesota law that prohibited wearing any “political badge, political button, or other political insignia” inside a polling place on Election Day.” The ban was interpreted to cover a variety of attire, such as t-shirts, buttons, and hats, and versions of the law had been in place for over a century. In a 7-2 decision, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing for the majority, the Court ruled that the Minnesota political attire ban was unconstitutional.

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No Free Speech Within 100 Feet: North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds State Electioneering Law

What is wrong with advocating for or against the adoption of a new ballot measure outside of a polling station on Election Day? For one, it may be against the law.

In North Dakota, such a law found itself as the subject of litigation that went all the way to the North Dakota Supreme Court. The case, State v. Francis, involved a challenge to North Dakota Century Code § 16.1-10-06.2, an electioneering law that criminalizes gathering signatures within 100 feet of an open polling place on election day. In July 2016, the North Dakota Supreme Court upheld the law after applying established U.S. Supreme Court precedent in its own analysis of the North Dakota electioneering statute.

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