Voters wearing political clothing report being turned away from polling places

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The Mahoning County Board of Elections said these voters should not have been turned away

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CAMPBELL, Ohio (WYTV) – When Aryn and Ryan Glenn went to vote Tuesday at their polling place in Campbell, they came dressed in gear endorsing their favorite presidential candidate, Republican incumbent Donald Trump.

However, they said a poll worker denied them a ballot after seeing their attire. Aryn had on a Trump shirt while her husband was wearing a Trump shirt and hat.

The couple said they were told there is a law barring anyone from wearing attire endorsing a candidate or issue to the polls to vote, but they said they were honestly unaware of it.

The couple did eventually get to vote, with Ryan taking his hat off and turning his shirt inside out. Aryn, however, just went back inside after researching the issue, got a ballot, and voted.

“If it’s a law, it needs to be stated somewhere and it needs to be posted somewhere,” Aryn said.

“Every single polling place should be posted that you can’t wear it because we didn’t know until we went in and they made us feel stupid and told us we couldn’t vote,” Ryan said.

We’ve received multiple calls into our newsroom from voters who said they were turned away at the polls for wearing political clothing.

According to Joyce Kale-Pesta from the Mahoning County Board of Elections, Ohio law says voters cannot wear any political clothing when they go to the polling place. However, as long as these voters are not causing a scene because of their support for a particular candidate, they won’t be turned away.

A recent Supreme Court ruling in Minnesota determined voters wearing political clothing would not be turned away, provided they were not vocal about their political leanings.

But when we talked to a second person who answered the phone at the Mahoning County Board of Elections, they told us voters are “absolutely not” allowed to wear political clothing.

Kale-Pesta said those voters who were turned away are still allowed to vote and should go back to the polling place.

Aryn said she knows of other people who were not allowed to vote because of the rule, but Maggie Sheehan, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, said they know of no one being turned away in Mahoning County. She said there were some “issues” but teams of workers checked in with poll workers to make sure they understood the process.

Aryn said she thinks not allowing someone to vote because of what they are wearing is not right, and she thinks the same way for someone who is wearing clothing representing a candidate she does not support.

“To turn someone away is not right,” she said. “It’s not right at all.”

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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