- The Washington Times - Monday, October 27, 2014

A Georgia man is upset after he went for early voting on Friday and was ordered to remove his National Rifle Association hat before he was allowed to vote.

Bundy Cobb, who is certified by the National Rifle Association in firearms training, wears his “NRA Instructor” hat everywhere he goes, partly to promote his business, True Aim Defense, The Daily Caller reported.

But last week he was told he couldn’t wear the hat while voting because it is supposedly too closely associated with the Republican Party.

“I went by the first two ladies, and they didn’t say anything. And then the next lady, she said ‘sir, you’re going to have to take off your hat,’” Mr. Cobb told The Daily Caller.

He said the poll worker explained that his pro-gun hat was perceived as being associated with the GOP and the tea party.

“It’s ridiculous,” Mr. Cobb said. “My hat advertises my business.”

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He said he took off the hat so he could vote but made sure to put in a complaint with the state board of elections, which is investigating the case, he told The Daily Caller.

Douglas County Elections Supervisor Laurie Fulton explained to a local Fox affiliate: “The courts have found that anything that suggests associated with the NRA in many people’s perceptions is associated with the Republican Party. So in an overabundance of caution Mr. Cobb was asked to remove the hat so that no one could, you know, interpret that we were playing any favoritism over one party over the other.”

Ms. Fulton told The Daily Caller, however, that there is no clear precedent at the state level prohibiting NRA apparel.

Instead, she said the policy came about last week after she consulted a colleague when a voter complained about a different man wearing an NRA hat.

“I consulted with one of my contemporaries in another county,” she told The Daily Caller. They agreed that the NRA hat “fell under the same sort of grey area” as a ruling that reportedly barred voters from wearing a “Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirt, a slogan popular among tea partyers.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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