A woman from Taylor has filed a formal complaint with the Texas Secretary of State‘s office after election workers forced her to cover up a “Vote the Bible” T-shirt she was wearing when she went to vote early at City Hall.
Kay Hill, who says Williamson County election workers asked to change the shirt or cover the words up in order to vote at Taylor City Hall on Oct. 24, filed the complaint on Friday.
Attorney Jonathan Seinz of Texas Values, which is representing her, says Hill was targeted because of her religious beliefs. “This is obviously a religious free expression and no one should be put in a position having to choose religious freedom over deciding to vote,” he told FOX News.
Williamson County is citing state election laws, which prohibit a person from suggesting how another person should vote by word, sign or gesture while in a polling place.
“The shirt did say vote so it did have to do with voting,” county’s Public Affairs Director Connie Watson was quoted as saying. “Electioneering or loitering within 100 feet of the entrance to the polling place or inside the polling place is not allowed.
Electioneering would cover wearing a hat, a pen, a T-shirt or a sign that would indicate a position for a political party, candidate or a proposition.”
Seinz disagrees. “Electioneering only prohibits supporting or opposing a candidate, measure or political party. The Bible is not candidate or a ballot measure,” he told Austin American-Statesman.
Saenz wants the county to apologize to Hill. However, county officials are not willing.
“We back the actions of our appointed elections workers at the county and precinct level,” Williamson County Judge Dan Gattis was quoted as saying. “If a citizen does not agree, they need to follow the proper channels to complain.”
Hill says she was humiliated. “It only says ‘Vote the Bible’ – it doesn’t say vote Democrat or Republican,” kxan.com quoted her as telling one election judge. “I felt embarrassed, humiliated and offended myself.”
Hill believes it was the right thing to file a complaint. “I felt I had to do the right thing, to come out with this,” she said. “It’s not partisan to have ‘Bible’ on your shirt. We all as Christians need to step up and do the right thing.”