All Plucked Up: Playing Chicken at the Polls

28 05 2010

More for Thinking Citizens to peck to pieces and squawk about, in the public dress code wars. How shall we apply what we’re learning about controlling message clothing in public places for FEMA volunteers and band students, about t-shirts and purity rings and serious hats, to um, chicken costumes?

Re: free speech in how we dress and which authorities can rightfully regulate what we choose to wear where.

“There is no statute prohibiting dress that includes costumes,” wrote Erin Neff, the group’s executive director. . . one chicken-dressed man went in to vote, and came out with an “I voted” sticker stuck on his feathers.

. . .State law prohibits signs, distribution of literature, or wearing campaign buttons, clothing or insignia in support of or against a political party, candidate or ballot question at or near polling [s]ites. Violations are a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and $2,000 fine.

But another provision says the law is not intended to prevent a person from voting “solely” for wearing political insigne that cannot be reasonably removed or covered. In such cases, the statute says election workers should take “such action as is necessary” to allow them to vote “as expediently as possible” before showing them to the exit.