SD bill would let voters wear political apparel to polls

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota voters would be allowed to wear political clothing and buttons while casting their ballots under a bill set for debate during the upcoming legislative session.

The bill's sponsors contend it's a free speech issue, saying they've heard from people who have run into trouble at the polls while wearing political attire.

Republican Sen. Stace Nelson says a Supreme Court ruling this year striking down Minnesota's broad restrictions on voters wearing political hats, T-shirts and pins to the polls provided "the needed boost" to roll back South Dakota's law.

The bill would allow voters to wear political clothing and buttons while retaining a prohibition on campaign posters and signs inside a polling place or near its entrance.

Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz opposes the plan, saying the changes would make some voters uncomfortable.

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