A man who showed up Tuesday at the Murrells Inlet/Garden City Fire Department in South Carolina to cast his vote in the 2018 midterm elections allegedly was denied entry into the polling place because he was wearing a shirt supporting President Donald Trump.
Think he trotted home to don new duds? Not on your life.
The guy solved the issue by taking off the offending apparel and voting shirtless, according to witness Todd Price.
After further inquiry
South Carolina rules indicate no one is allowed to distribute campaign material within 200 feet of polling places — and that includes clothing, WBMF-TV reported, citing state elections officials.
But Chris Whitmire of the South Carolina Elections Commission told the station that the poll manager’s handbook defines campaign material as any written or visual material that expresses support or opposition for any candidate, party, or ballot issue in a current election.
“The shirt in question does not relate to a candidate in a current election,” Whitmire added to WBMF.
Ah, but Sandy Martin — director of Horry County Voter Registration and Elections — didn't see it that way.
“It is considered campaign material whether it is relevant to the election or not,” Martin told the station.
How did others react?
Commenters on Price's Facebook post seemed not so fond of how the voter allegedly was treated.
- One man shared, "They have done it to me as well in 2004. I turned it inside out to keep my place in line and they wanted to argue that point that I was still wearing the shirt despite the fact that the logo could not be seen which made me think it was more about stopping me from voting for a candidate the pole [sic] watcher did not support."
- "Wow," another commenter said. "Wrong on so many levels."
- "That’s discrimination," another person added. "He wasn’t handing out literature!"
But not everybody agreed: "It is called 'campaigning' and whether it is a shirt, or a poster in the window of a car, it is NOT ALLOWED!!" one commenter said.