Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Secretary of State Attempts to Promote Civil Behavior at the Polls

In an unusual election season characterized by a lack of civil discourse, protests, sometimes turning violent, and armed groups threatening to patrol voting sites, the Colorado Secretary of State is trying to lower tensions at polling sites. In an article in the Colorado Springs Independent by Pam Zubeck, the Colorado Secretary of State ruled that wearing apparel identified with a candidate or party was acceptable if it didn’t say vote for or specifically mention a candidate. Hence, MAGA hats and BLM t-shirts were approved.

Floyd Ciruli of Ciruli and Associates, a political polling, consulting and analysis firm in Denver, says he views the Secretary of State's guidance as an attempt to strike a compromise and give poll workers distinct direction on what is and isn't allowed.

Noting that Trump has issued a call for action for supporters to "watch" polls and that concerns have arisen about violence associated with the election, Ciruli says, "This sounds to me like an effort to find a line here for polling workers to be able to say 'no' to some things that are direct advocacy and not raise objections [to the MAGA insignia]," which doesn't specifically name a candidate.

"It's obviously a compromise," he says, adding, "I can't imagine a harder job than policing polling places."

Trump supporters wear MAGA hats at a Feb. 20 rally
in Colorado Springs, Feb. 20, 2020 | Zach Hillstrom

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