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‘Tea party’ T-shirts OK at Maricopa County polls

A federal judge in Phoenix has ruled that Maricopa County voters can wear “tea party” T-shirts into polling places in Tuesday’s general election.

U.S. District Court Judge James Teilborg issued the opinion Monday afternoon.

The ruling applies to clothing representing other groups as well — so long as the message doesn’t endorse a particular candidate or issue.

Later Monday, Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell told The Arizona Republic that she’s allowing voters to wear any apparel inside the polls including clothing that supports or opposes a candidate or proposition on the ballot.

Teilborg last week issued a temporary injunction, allowing a Coconino County resident to wear her “tea party” T-shirt.

That decision prompted Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne to clarify that the ruling doesn’t apply to Maricopa County or to any other kind of clothing.

The tea party isn’t an official political party in Arizona.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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