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When Arizona resident Mark Reed planned to vote while wearing a “Tea Party” t-shirt, government officials wanted to keep him out of the polls. The Goldwater Institute argued that Tea Party shirts were constitutionally protected free speech, no different than shirts promoting unions or other advocacy groups. The courts agreed, requiring election officials to use uniform, objective standards without violating the constitution.

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  • Reed v. Purcell

    Posted on October 29, 2010 | Type: Case

    On Oct. 28, 2010, the Goldwater Institute filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Scottsdale resident Mark Reed, who wants to vote at his polling place while wearing a T-shirt that refers in a general manner to the phrase “tea party.” Maricopa County election officials have said their policy is to ban all clothing with any political messages at polling places on Election Day, not just clothing with messages that attempt to influence other voters. The lawsuit says Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell and county Elections Director Karen Osborne are violating the federal civil rights of voters who want to wear clothing with logos or messages that are not electioneering. A federal judge granted Goldwater Institute’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Maricopa County to protect voters’ rights during the election on Nov. 2, 2010, and voters were allowed to wear Tea Party T-shirts that didn't endorse candidates or issues to the polls. The preliminary injunction expired after the polls closed on November 2, and the fight continues.

  • Tea Party T-shirt gets the okay

    Posted on October 25, 2010 | Type: Video

    A member of the Flagstaff Tea Party will be able to wear her Tea Party T-shirt to the polls on November 2. Goldwater Institute attorney Diane Cohen talked about the federal judge's decision, and a new controversy brewing in Maricopa County, on 3 TV.

  • Flagstaff Grandmother Can Wear Tea Party T-Shirt to Polls on Nov. 2

    Posted on October 21, 2010 | Type: Press Release

    Federal Court Judge Issues Injunction Sought by Goldwater Institute Protecting Voters' – Constitutional Rights

  • Goldwater Institute protecting the personal liberties of voters

    Posted on October 04, 2010 | Type: Video

    KPNX Channel 12 on the Goldwater Institute going to court to defend the right of a woman to wear her Flagstaff Tea party t-shirt at the voting booth.

  • Nick Dranias on KFYI's Terry Gilberg Show to discuss an amendment convention, Tea Party t-shirt, and some propositions

    Posted on October 02, 2010 | Type: Audio

    The Goldwater Institute's Nick Dranias spent an hour on KFYI's Terry Gilberg Show, where they discussed the Goldwater Institute's lawsuit on behalf of a woman who was told she could not wear her Tea Party t-shirt to vote, the call for an amendments convention, and some of the propositions on the 2010 Arizona ballot.

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