Antonio Sousa, 50, of Manteca said he didn’t think twice when he threw on his Bass Pro Shop bought t-shirt that reads “Ban Idiots Not Guns.”
“I thought it was kind of discrimination because this is a shirt,” Sousa said.
However, the man was asked to either change or cover up his shirt when he went to vote at the Paseo Villas Apartments, Sousa said.
His father-in-law Dennis Brisson, 70, was also questioned when he went into the same polling place. He was wearing a dark blue hat that reads “Make American Great Again,” the campaign slogan of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. The hat was a gift from Brisson's 13-year-old granddaughter who asked him to wear it while he voted.
Wearing patriotic pins, hats, T-shirts, or other attire are OK at polling places. But, anything that could be considered promoting a political campaign or a ballot measure is illegal under California electioneering laws.
San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters Austin Erdman said electioneering laws are in place to prevent voter intimidation.
“We want voters to vote their choice,” Erdman said.
Sousa agreed to cover up his shirt and was allowed to vote. Brisson argued that his hat was not political and was allowed to vote. Brisson argued that his hat was not political and was allowed to vote.
Both men said they did nothing wrong. All 50 states have laws against electioneering at polling places.