A Texas man was jailed last week on electioneering charges after he wore a pro-Donald Trump hat and shirt into a polling place.
Brett Mauthe, 55, of Bulverde, said he was wearing a hat supporting the Republican presidential nominee and a T-shirt that read, “Basket of deplorables,” when he tried to vote early in Comal County on Oct. 24, a local ABC News affiliate reported.
Mr. Mauthe said polling officials ordered him to remove the hat and turn the shirt inside out. Unaware of the state’s election code, Mr. Mauthe said he agreed to remove the hat but wouldn’t budge on the shirt.
He was arrested and charged with electioneering, a Class C misdemeanor. He was released from Comal County Jail in New Braunfels on $500 bond, ABC reported.
Cynthia Jaqua, the Comal County elections coordinator, said it is very rare that a voter is arrested on an electioneering charge.
“It’s in the election code. Electioneering is prohibited within a 100-foot marker,” she told the San Antonio Express-News. “You cannot express views for or against a candidate or political party by wearing buttons, T-shirts, hats, whatever else or carrying signs.”
“Every election we have to advise people,” she said. “Even if it’s a school bond issue. They wear candidates’ shirts and we just have to remind them. ‘Please go into the restroom and turn it inside out.’ This is the first time I recall someone getting arrested.”