“He wanted to take a stand,” Bulverde Police Chief Gary Haecker told the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung of Brett Mauthe, who showed up to his polling place with a Trump hat and “Basket of Deplorables” T-shirt. “Unfortunately, he was arrested.”
Mauthe told local TV station KSAT that he removed his Trump hat but refused to turn his T-shirt inside-out, saying he was unaware it constituted a violation of the election code.
“I went up there and talked to him. I told him, ‘I support you and I appreciate what you’re doing. It’s your right, but you’re going about it the wrong way here.’ The election code has very specific rules,” Haecker told the Herald-Zeitung. “These are the rules and you have to abide by the rules.”
Mauthe was in violation of section 61.003 of Texas’ election code, which prohibits “electioneering and loitering” within 100 feet of a polling place.
Mauthe was taken to jail for electioneering and released the same day after posting a $700 bond, according to the newspaper.
The arrest comes as Texas election officials have debunked isolated stories of “vote flipping” in the state, which Donald Trump recently amplified on Twitter.
“A lot of call-ins about vote flipping at the voting booths in Texas,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “People are not happy. BIG lines. What is going on?”
Election officials across the state responded that “flipped” presidential votes were the result of voter error, not hacked machines.
“There is nothing wrong with any of the machines we use for voting,” Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner said in a statement this week, according to the Washington Post. “They do not flip your vote. They do not flip parties. Humans do that.”