WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (CBS Houston) — A Texas woman claims that a polling place forced her to cover up her “Vote the Bible” shirt she was wearing or she would not be allowed to vote.
Texas Values is representing Kay Hill after Williamson County election workers told her that her shirt was deemed “offensive” and that she either needed to change her shirt or cover the words up in order to vote at Taylor City Hall on Oct. 24.
“This is obviously a religious free expression and no one should be put in a position having to choose religious freedom over deciding to vote,” Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, told KTBC-TV.
Hill eventually complied with election workers and covered-up the words in order to vote.
Williamson County officials say Hill’s shirt violated electioneering laws.
“Electioneering or loitering within 100 feet of the entrance to the polling place or inside the polling place is not allowed,” Connie Watson, public affairs director for Williamson County, told KTBC. “Electioneering would cover wearing a hat, a pen, a T-shirt or a sign that would indicate a position for a political party, candidate or a proposition.”
Saenz disagrees that Hill violated any sort of electioneering law.
“Electioneering only prohibits supporting or opposing a candidate, measure or political party,” Saenz told the Austin American-Statesman. “The Bible is not candidate or a ballot measure.”
Saenz is calling on the county to apologize to Hill, but officials say they won’t because what they did was right.
“We back the actions of our appointed elections workers at the county and precinct level,” Williamson County Judge Dan Gattis told the American-Statesman. “If a citizen does not agree, they need to follow the proper channels to complain.”
Hill is expected to file a complaint Friday with the Texas Secretary of State’s office.