Majority oppose ban on campaign clothing at polling places - 124 participants, 252 responses

Nov 03, 2016

In 2016 the New Hampshire Legislature passed a law that does not allow campaign clothing or pins inside polling places. The law is intended to protect voters from any intimidation or influence to vote one way or another. A voter will never be turned away for wearing a campaign sweatshirt or similar item of clothing, but election moderators will ask the voter to cover up. On November 3, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Do you support the new law banning campaign clothing at polling places?”

“Do you support the new law banning campaign clothing at polling places?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Participation:

A total of 80% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 20% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, this question received 252 responses from 124 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

No: A majority, at 92% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were opposed to banning campaign clothing at polling places.

  • “It's freedom of speech, and enforcing this rule is just a nuisance.”
  • “People going to vote should be allowed to wear whatever they want.”
  • “I really doubt a political shirt will make a difference on voting day.”

Yes: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 8%, were in favor of the ban on campaign clothing at polling places.

  • “It's a form of electioneering. By the time we get to the polling site, we've had plenty of time to voice our opinions and show our support for particular individuals. Let the polling sites be a convivial gathering place where we secretly cast our ballots.”*

*Editor’s note: All other ‘yes’ responses to this question did not include additional commentary. 

Other: As noted above, 20% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Explaining the law: “To be very clear, if you’re simply going into the polling location to vote you can wear your campaign clothing. What is prohibited is hanging around inside before or after voting.”
  • Other states’ policies: “It may be new in New Hampshire, but it's been the law in New York state as long as I've been voting.”
  • Alternatives to the current law: “Workers yes. Voting people no.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Do you support the new law banning wearing campaign clothing at polling places? Leave a comment and have your say! 

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