Voter Casts Ballot Topless After Being Told Her Anti-Trump Shirt Was Illegal At Polling Place

BEDFORD, NH - FEBRUARY 9: Voters head to the polling booths inside the Bedford High school, February 9, 2016 in Bedford, New Hampshire. (Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post)
Voters head to the polling booths inside the Bedford High school, February 9, 2016 in Bedford, New Hampshire. (Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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September 10, 2020 12:29 p.m.

A primary voter in Exeter, New Hampshire had a simple solution when poll workers told her her shirt was a violation of the state’s electioneering laws.

Paul Scafidi, Exeter’s town moderator, told the Portsmouth Herald on Wednesday that during the state’s primaries the day before, a woman wearing a shirt that said “McCain Hero, Trump Zero” showed up at the polling place he was overseeing.

Under New Hampshire law, voters are not allowed to “distribute, wear, or post” any “campaign material,” including an “article of clothing.”

Thus Scafidi had to inform the voter that she was prohibited from voting with the garment, which she wore without anything underneath, and needed to cover it up somehow.

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According to Scafidi, the woman kept pushing back against his warning and eventually asked him if he preferred she remove the shirt altogether. Scafidi said he told her no, but it was too late. A half-naked voter stood before him.

“She took it off so fast, no one had time to react so the whole place just went, ‘woah,'” the town official told the Herald. “And she walked away, and I let her vote.”

The woman put the shirt back on after emerging from the voting booth, according to Scafidi.

He could have had her arrested for public indecency, Scafidi told the paper, “but I didn’t want to exacerbate the whole thing” by calling the police. He noted that there were few other voters present at the scene and that he did not see any children.

The official didn’t seem offended by the display, however, telling the Herald, “If she felt it was her right, more power to her.”

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