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Voters to get ponchos to cover school gear

Sat., April 9, 2011

MARIETTA, Ohio – Voters in one Ohio county who show their school pride at the polls next month will be asked to cover up with a poncho.

Elections officials in southeast Ohio’s Washington County don’t want people coming to polling places wearing shirts or other attire promoting local schools that have hotly contested tax measures on the ballot.

Those who do show up to vote on May 3 in a shirt, hat or other article of clothing with the name or mascot of one of the Marietta or Warren Local schools will be handed a poncho by a poll worker, county elections board director Peggy Byers said Friday. Voters will be allowed to wear school colors, she said.

The school tax issues are stirring up feelings that are “kind of intense either way,” Byers said. “A lot of people are either real for them or real against them.”

School Board President Debbie West said she thought the elections board policy “may be going a little too far.”

“I wonder how they came to the conclusion that wearing clothing showing school pride was indicative of being either for or against the issue since people on both sides claim to be supportive of the school districts,” West said in an email.


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