Here’s why Trump supporters will now be allowed to wear MAGA swag to the voting booth in California


California’s recent decision on voters’ rights to express themselves has given an unexpected boost to supporters of President Donald Trump in the blue state.

With Election Day looming, state officials in California have decided that rules banning clothing and signs supporting a particular candidate at polling locations do not apply in some cases. Specifically, voters can now sport their “Make America Great Again” swag when they go to vote and will not be turned away, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Trump supporters will be allowed to wear anything that says “MAGA” in polling places in California but, in what seems like a contradiction, supporters of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden cannot arrive sporting the name of their candidate, or any other, on their person. However, materials bearing the president’s name will still be prohibited.

The distinction lies in the words themselves, as “Make America Great Again” does not actually promote one candidate for office, even though the phrase is a key part of the Trump campaign. Even Biden’s campaign slogan “Build Back Better” is allowed under the same guidelines.

(File Photo: YouTube screenshot)

Regulations issued last month indicated that the signature Trump phrase and others, such as “Black Lives Matter,” are not examples of what has long been called “electioneering.”

“Examples of campaign slogans or political movement slogans include but are not limited to: Make America Great Again (MAGA), Black Lives Matter (BLM), Keep America Great (KAG), Vote for Science, and Build Back Better,” guidelines sent to county registrars of voters last month stated.

“State law is clear that you can’t have a candidate’s likeness or name,” Sam Mahood, a spokesman for Secretary of State Alex Padilla, said, according to The Times. “It does not prohibit slogans that could be created for a campaign or a political movement.”

Some local election officials expressed their concerns over the new decision.

“I want to make sure the public knows what the rules are,” Kammi Foote, the registrar of voters in Inyo County, said.

“I don’t want to be accused of favoritism allowing MAGA gear but telling people with a Biden/Harris mask to remove it,” Foote, a registered Republican, added, telling the newspaper that a supply of paper aprons had been ordered to be ready to give voters who show up wearing clothing that is prohibited at the polling locations.

“This particular campaign material is tied to a specific candidate in most voters’ perception,” Foote said. “And perception is reality. I don’t want my poll workers to have to defend this.”

The memorandum with the guidelines issued last month notes that “electioneering cannot be conducted within 100 feet of the entrance to the polling place” and that some of the items prohibited include anything that displays “a candidate’s name, likeness, or logo.”

“Buttons, hats, pencils, pens, shirts, signs, or stickers containing information about candidates or issues on the ballot” were also listed as materials not allowed.

“It should be noted that a campaign slogan or a political movement slogan (or the initials representing the campaign or political movement) does not constitute electioneering under the legal definition of electioneering as stated above,” the September 28 memo stated. “Accordingly, the display of slogans on clothing, face coverings, and/or buttons is not prohibited.”

“I think an argument could be made that it should be tightened up a little bit,” surprised Democrat Assemblyman Marc Berman said in response to the state’s electioneering law.

“Like so many things with this president, we’re encountering a lot of firsts,” the chairman of the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee added.

Twitter users weighed in on the news.

But many Twitter users also worried that it was all really a “trap” and Trump supporters should not wear any MAGA swag.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.

Frieda Powers

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