Pulaski Election Board Seeks Answers Regarding Political Clothing In County Meetings

Pulaski County CourthouseThe saga of the promulgating hat continues in Pulaski County, and the local election board says they are working to find more information.

Jerry Locke, a candidate for the open District 1 seat on the Pulaski County Board of Commissioners, recently attended one of the group’s meetings. Supporters were allegedly asked to remove their hats while in the room – which promotes Locke’s candidacy for the office.

During an appearance at Monday morning’s Pulaski County Election Board meeting , Locke requested an explanation.

“Where does the public stand? Where are we at on this? Because this is starting to border of first amendment rights,” says Locke.

The Commissioners attempted to provide Locke with an explanation, even referencing the County’s employee handbook. Locke says he found the explanation unsatisfying considering he’s not a county employee.

The Election Board says their official capacity is usually restricted, saying an official complaint would first need to be filed with their office. Questions about wearing clothing in a Commissioners or Council meeting, were deferred to those bodies by the Election Board.

Member Laura Bailey says the Election Board’s relationship to campaigning is typically limited to campaigning inside polling places.

“That kind of material and campaigning can’t go on within 50 feet of the doorway and all that kind of thing,” says Bailey. “That’s our whole involvement with campaigning. Other than making sure there are disclaimers, etc. on different things. But in terms of wearing that kind of thing in certain settings, that’s it for us.”

In the mean time, the Pulaski County Election Board said they would contact the Indiana Election Division to clarify the issue.

An answer is anticipated to be gathered prior to the April 11th Election Board meeting.