The Washington Times - November 3, 2008, 01:43PM

Election volunteers are racing around with clipboards and holding doors at One Judiciary Square as people ask last-minute questions. The long lines are forming as the absentee ballot voters pen their check marks. TV crews capture the moments, and volunteers continue to smile and pass out leaflets.

However, who knew, that for new residents of the District, your clothing could stop you from voting?

At the polling place where I’m expected to go, a sign taped to the wall reads no campaign T-shirts, no buttons, hats and stickers are allowed inside the polling place, as according to DCMR (District of Columbia Municipal Regulation), Chapter 7 of Election Procedures.

Below the statement, it listed a phone number for the General Counsel of the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics in case anyone had questions.

A woman answered the phone number, told me this is a private number, and would not tell me anything more on the D.C. law and why her number was even listed.

Minutes later, a driver in a van pulled up and two election volunteers got out.

After questioning the sign, they agreed that new residents could be confused as to why such a law exists.

A few houses away, a woman sweeping leaves told me she wouldn’t be surprised to see vendors trying to sell T-shirts and other items right outside the polling place, sparking foreseeable arguments.  

“I’m just cleaning up here and, tomorrow, staying inside as much as possible!” she said.

Kimberly Kweder, online editor, The Washington Times