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Published May 24, 2012, 09:20 PM

Dress Code for June Election?

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Some counties are going to ban voters from wearing Fighting Sioux apparel when they cast their ballots on June 12, while other counties are only asking election workers to refrain from using the Sioux logo.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Some counties are going to ban voters from wearing Fighting Sioux apparel when they cast their ballots on June 12, while other counties are only asking election workers to refrain from using the Sioux logo.

North Dakota Century Code prohibits voters from wearing any political badge, button or insignia at a polling site.

The idea that clothing bearing the Fighting Sioux name or logo may be considered electioneering is being called "subjective," but county auditors are laying down some ground rules.

"Voters will be asked to remove any button or badge that they have on, and if they have a shirt, they will be asked to go in the restroom and change it or put it inside out while they're voting," Grand Forks County Auditor Debbie Nelson said.

Any Fighting Sioux apparel urging others to support or oppose Measure 4 won't be allowed at the polls. But Nelson says your basic Sioux apparel is acceptable.

"Poll workers will not be wearing that, but if a voter comes in with just an ordinary sweatshirt on not opposing or supporting the name, that will be fine," Nelson said.

But those rules could be different in other counties.

"It really involves the interpretation of the Sioux sweatshirt or t-shirt or something as being an electioneering pamphlet or electioneering badge," ND Broadcasters Association legal counsel Mack McDonald said.

Grand Forks County election workers will get a handout defining state laws and workers will have to use their own discretion with voters. If a person violates the current law, their name will be turned over to law enforcement.

"I personally believe that those are unconstitutional restrictions on free speech. But nevertheless that is the law in North Dakota and so you have to follow what the law is here right now," McDonald said.

The Cass County Auditor said they will be enforcing the same rules as Grand Forks County.

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