Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

VA State Board of Elections Wants Citizens Prosecuted for *What*?!

This is beyond ridiculous:

Now, if someone comes to vote while wearing, say, an ObamaBiden button, here’s what the SBE wants the election officials to do:

1.  As the person to remove or cover up the button.
2.  If the voter questions the authority for such a request, direct them to the “Prohibited Area Sign/Poster.”
3.  If the person refuses, to remove or cover up the button, let them vote, and then “complete an incident report,” which “should be forwarded to the locality’s Commonwealth’s Attorney by the local electoral board and general registrar” for prosecution for a misdemeanor.

So — you can wear your button when you vote, but then they’ll arrest you days, weeks or months later?

Read the whole thing.  I’d prefer to get a hold of a copy of the guidance the author is relaying, but the author is trustworthy.


Hope (for the House) in Virginia?


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  1. If you vote for the winner, do you avoid prosecution? Might as well make it interesting.

  2. if I understand the regulation correctly, if you wear a McCain-Palin or Barr-Root pin you would be treated the same way. so despite being extremely annoyed with our 1st Amendment rights being ignored, I do think if implemented equally then its kinda fair.

  3. MB

    Yes, you’re correct in that the reg applies to anything involving any party on the ballot.


    It is my understanding that the first draft of the guidance *did* have a special provision for those with Barr-Root buttons, in that they were to be looked in the eye, given a sad shake of the head, and handed a pamphlet with meeting times for Optimists Anonymous.

  4. I was hoping to get at least a Sternly Worded Letter from someone.

    Do they really think anyone gives a damn now that we know there is such a small chance of even being prosecuted?

  5. It’s called a “reasonable time, place, and manner” restriction, and so long as it’s applied evenhandedly, it’s highly unlikely that it violates anyone’s “First Amendment rights” under current law.

    Once again, Obamaniacs demonstrate their contempt for the rules we all live under, and have for some time.

  6. MB

    Once again, James confuses his ideology with the law. But we’ll skip over that to note – Amit, he just called you an Obamaniac. You gonna let that stand?

  7. Hey, James appears for his weekly one-off.

    You must be so proud, James. After all, the rule of law is something the Republican establishment has been ignoring for eight years!

    Maybe you are just upset that in the new climate, union-busting just won’t be what it once was.


  8. What is more “reasonable” than wearing clothing and flair on ELECTION day at the VOTING BOOTH for a CANDIDATE? Perhaps some folks consider me a maniac but an Obamaniac? ouch. that 30 minute commercial wasn’t that good.

  9. Well, since I’m the only one here who’s actually argued a First-Amendment case in the Supreme Court ….

  10. MB

    since I’m the only one here who’s actually argued a First-Amendment case in the Supreme Court ….

    Oh, the many ways to finish that sentence. Yes, James, you’d think that experience would lead you to be a little more thoughtful, but no, you’re stuck playing to type. That’s okay, though. Every court needs a jester.

  11. was the argument successful? what was the case about?

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