A woman whipped off her shirt and voted topless at a polling place in Exeter, New Hampshire, on Tuesday after a “town moderator” ruled that her T-shirt was a form of electioneering.
The unidentified woman entered a gymnasium wearing a “McCain Hero, Trump Zero” T-shirt, SeacoastOnline reported. As a poll worker checked her name against the registered voter list, Town Moderator Paul Scafidi told her that her shirt violated a state law that says no person “shall distribute, wear, or post at a polling place any campaign material.”
The woman pointed out that a nearby woman was wearing a T-shirt featuring the American flag. “She asked why her and not me?” Scafidi told Seacoast. “I said she was going to have to cover her shirt and [a shirt] supporting the American flag was not electioneering. That’s my opinion, and that was my call as the moderator.”
For the record, President Donald Trump’s name wasn’t even on the ballot because it was a state primary.
The woman then asked Scafidi if he wanted her to take off her shirt “despite not wearing anything underneath.”
“I said, I’d rather she not,” Scafidi said. “But she took it off so fast, no one had time to react so the whole place just went, ‘woah,’ and she walked away, and I let her vote. She could’ve just gone into the hallway and turned it inside-out.”
“I don’t know if she was trying to have me get her arrested, but I thought it was better to just let things play out,” Scafidi said. “I don’t think there were more than 15 voters in the building at the time and if there were any children there, I didn’t see them.”
“If she felt it was her right, more power to her,” Scafidi said. “We all laughed about it as things were winding down, so I don’t know if it was a set-up, but I’ve never experienced anything like that. We had more important things to worry about; we had to get 2,000 people to vote safely, and check-in and count 2,000 absentee ballots.”
Exeter voter Andrea Shine told the New Hampshire Union-Leader that she got a good laugh as the scene unfolded.
“I think we all kind of needed it. With everything going on in the world, it’s like, who cares? You couldn’t even see many reactions [from voters] because there were masks on their faces,” she told the paper. Shine also said the woman appeared to attempt to cover her breasts with her shirt as she waited for the poll worker to look up her name.
Select Board member Julie Gilman told the paper that police involvement wasn’t required. “By the time the interaction occurred there was no action for them to take,” Gilman said. “If she wandered around the (polls) you could make the case of public nudity that was inappropriate.”