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Counter Points is written by WVXU Senior Political Analyst Howard Wilkinson. In it, he shares insights on political news on the local, state and national level that impacts the 2020 election. Counter Points is delivered once a week on Wednesdays and will cease publication soon after the November election is decided.

Ohio Law Says You Cannot Wear Political Clothing To The Polls But.....

From Trump campaign rally in 2016
Jo Ingles
From Trump campaign rally in 2016

Ohio law says you cannot enter a polling place wearing any article of clothing that advocates for or against a candidate. But anyone who insists on wearing political gear might not be turned away. 

If you wear your red "Make America Great Again" hat or your "Ridin' with Biden" tee shirt to the polls, you could be asked to remove it or turn your shirt inside out.   Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says Ohio law specifically prohibits people from wearing items with political statements into polling places. 

“They are going to be told that they are violating the law if they come wearing a shirt or a hat or anything else. They may be asked to remove that clothing. But if they insist, just like with masks, we can’t turn someone away.” 

That suggests the law is not enforceable. And LaRose says because he doesn’t want poll workers to give them “the attention they are looking for by creating a bigger stir than is necessary”, voters who insist on wearing political clothing will still be allowed to cast a ballot. 

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.