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Conn. wrestles with a voter dress code

Oct. 23, 2010 at 1:01 PM
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HARTFORD, Conn., Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Voters wearing a T-shirt at the polls promoting World Wrestling Entertainment might be contested by election officials on Nov. 2, Connecticut officials said.

WWE is well known in the state as the company formerly run by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon and now run by her husband.

The company and the candidate are so quickly associated with each other that promoting the company on Election Day within 75 feet of a polling place could be construed as a violation of election laws, the Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Saturday.

Av Harris, a spokesman for Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, said, "If the poll workers feel like the wearing of WWE paraphernalia is in any way interfering with the voting, they can ask the individual to cover it up or leave and come back with something else on.

"We're aware that this is may be an issue and we're prepared to evaluate every case on an individual basis," Harris said.

But Republican Chairman Chris Healy said the state warning local polling officials to be on the alert was a "ridiculous act of voter intimidation."

A spokesman for Linda McMahon, Ed Patru, said, "There is absolutely nothing in the statute that prohibits someone from wearing an apolitical, nonpartisan piece of clothing to the polls. This opinion seems overtly partisan, and anytime the state starts arbitrarily denying citizens the right to vote, democracy itself is under attack. It's very, very troubling."

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