Election Board Refers Hat Flap to Commissioners

Pulaski County CourthouseThe Pulaski County Commissioners may not be able to prohibit the wearing of campaign attire at their meetings. Supporters of District 1 Commissioner candidate Jerry Locke were asked to remove hats promoting his candidacy while in attendance at a recent meeting. However the commissioners were unable to offer a clear explanation as to why.

Locke raised the question with the Pulaski County Election Board last month. They in turn sought advice from the Indiana Election Division. The state’s response indicates electioneering activity near a polling place is illegal. However that doesn’t apply in this case, as absentee voting is taking place at the Pulaski County Public Library in Winamac. State law also prohibits county employees from engaging in campaign activity during business hours. Locke is not a county employee, so that prohibition is not applicable either.

The commissioners had sought answers in the county employee policy manual, which mirrors state law with regard to the ban on campaign activity. The election board indicated during their brief Monday morning meeting the matter is now between Locke and the commissioners.