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Suit filed over wearing tea party T-shirt at polls

A Phoenix-based conservative think tank has filed a federal lawsuit to ensure voters get to wear their tea party T-shirts at the polls.

Officials with the Goldwater Institute say their suit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court and is a freedom of speech issue. They say it stems from the case of a Coconino County resident who was stopped at the polls in a special statewide election May 18 for wearing a T-shirt that read, “Flagstaff Tea Party: Reclaiming our Constitution Now.”

State law bans electioneering inside a polling place, and a poll worker told the woman that the T-shirt might influence other voters.

The suit says she eventually was allowed to vote, but was stopped again in the Aug. 24 state primary and told to cover her T-shirt to hide her association with the group although it hadn’t endorsed any candidates.

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