What to Wear to the Polls in 2018, Vol. 17, Issue 55

Election Day is tomorrow, and Etiquetteer had occasion to go back to advice offered in 2008 after a Pennsylvania court case involving whether or not T-shirts with political messages were appropriate free speech in a polling place. Ten years later, it turns out that the Supreme Court struck down a related Minnesota law (which, it’s worth noting, had never been challenged in the century it was on the books). But here’s the thing: the opinion of the Court issued by Chief Justice John Roberts “[called] the state's effort to make polling places less clamorous admirable.” [Emphasis Etiquetteer’s.]

Yes, we need less clamor and more focus at the polls! Keep all the messaging and electioneering outside the polling place within that legally mandated radius, and let the atmosphere around the voting booths be as conducive to calm, decisive reflection as possible.

It will not surprise you that Etiquetteer thinks more respect could be shown for the voting process, and for the right to vote in the first place, by dressing in one’s best. Etiquetteer’s advice from 2008 still stands: by all means express your beliefs and preferences in what you wear, but keep it to accessories like buttons and ribbons rather than clothing like T-shirts and caps. And if you choose, dress in all the national colors of red, white, and blue!