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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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  • Tea Party t-shirt wearer talks to KFYI's Jim Sharpe

    Posted on September 21, 2010 | Type: Audio

    After Diane Wickberg was told by poll workers to cover up her Flagstaff Tea party t-shirt when she went to vote, the Goldwater Institute stepped in to defend her right to wear the shirt. Ms. Wickberg went on the air with KFYI's Jim Sharpe to explain what happened and to detail the lawsuit.

  • Tea Party T-shirt Election Lawsuits

    Posted on September 20, 2010 | Type: Case

    The Goldwater Institute has filed federal lawsuits on behalf of voters in Maricopa and Coconino counties to defend their right to vote while wearing clothing that refers to one or more “tea party” groups. The lawsuits aim to make sure county election officials use uniform and objective standards to enforce Arizona's electioneering laws without violating the constitutional rights of these and other voters in the future.

  • Wickberg v. Owens

    Posted on September 20, 2010 | Type: Case

    In March 2011, Coconino County decided to settle the case. Specifically, Coconino County's new rules define electioneering to provide that only conduct that advocates for or against a candidate, a political party, or an issue on the ballot may be banned at the polling site. The County has also agreed to provide additional training to poll workers for objective enforcement of election laws and to protect against discrimination in the polling place.

  • Coleman v. Mesa

    Posted on March 26, 2010 | Type: Case

    Does the government have the right to deny business permits because neighbors complain? The Arizona Supreme Court said no in its ruling on the Goldwater Institute’s case, Coleman v. Mesa.

  • Nonprofits could be future of journalism

    Posted on September 05, 2009 | Type: In the News

    Everything in Mark Flatten's office says investigative reporter, from stacks of paper on the desk to sources' contact information scribbled next to the phone to a hand-held tape recorder and headphones beside the computer.

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