Every election, there is misinformation spread online about now elections work and what you can and can’t do at the polls. One of the most common misunderstandings pertains to voters who want to wear campaign buttons or t-shirts to the polls. We frequently get questions about whether that is allowed inside the polls.
Yes, in Alabama, you can wear a candidate t-shirt or button when you go vote.
From the 2020 Alabama Voter Guide (PDF):
To be clear:
- You can wear buttons & shirts inside your polling place when you go to vote.
- You cannot actively campaign while inside the polling place. For instance, you can’t solicit votes or hand out literature while in line.
- You can carry a marked sample ballot inside with you, but you have to take it with you when you leave.
- On the day of the election, you can place signs for the candidates outside the polling place.
- All campaigning – passing out literature, waving signs, etc. has to be done outside the polling place, at least 30 feet from the entrance. There will be a sign on the entrance reminding everyone of that.
A word about the marked sample ballots that some interest groups pass out in front of polling places….
We actually had a confused voter ask if he was “allowed” to vote for people not marked on that sample ballot.
YES! Various groups like the New South Coalition, Alabama Democratic Conference, Chamber of Commerce, and others regularly endorse candidates. Some send out endorsement information to members and make public statement. Others actually have members outside polling places handing out literature and marked sample ballots that indicate their preferred candidates. Be careful with those marked ballots. Some aren’t accurate.
Take that literature if you want, but remember that you’re under no obligation to vote for any candidate.
Don’t forget to vote on March 3!!