Don’t Wear Your NRA Cap In Douglas County

It’s that time of year again when silliness abounds. 99% of poll workers are wonderful, a few do things that could be considered overboard. One such “overboard” incident took place in Douglas county where a man was told to remove his National Rifle Association cap or go home. He removed the cap but the story was taken on a life of it’s own. The cap did not include any candidates name, nor any encouragement about who he thought people should vote for. Douglas county is sticking by the poll worker.

Video removed because of the dreaded autoplay feature. Follow the link above if you want to see the video report.

Cobb was wearing his NRA Instructor hat last week when he walked into the Douglas County Courthouse to vote. He said he has worn the same hat at least two other times while voting there. And he is, in fact, a certified NRA firearms instructor, at his business “True Aim Defense.”

But this time, a poll worker told Cobb to take off the hat, or leave.

“She said, ‘Your hat has NRA on it.’ I said, ‘What’s that got to do with anything?’ She said, ‘It’s perceived to be Republican Party.’ I said, ‘That ain’t right. That don’t make no sense.’ I complied so I could to go in there and vote.”

So, is wearing an NRA hat in a polling place campaigning? If so, what about a Georgia Association of Educators t-shirt or pin? President Obama smooching a voter in Chicago? Michelle Nunn shaking voters’ hands as she votes early. Could a Waka Flocka t-shirt be interpreted as campaigning for David Perdue? Where does this end?

29 comments

  1. blakeage80 says:

    Pretty soon we are going to need an official election judge at every polling precinct that just gives a thumbs up or down to everyone entering. Thumbs up means you can proceed. Thumbs down means you get dragged off by the secret poll police to answer for you violation of voting laws.

  2. Will Durant says:

    Offsetting penalties on both for being petty.

    On another note does the Guns Everywhere legislation cover polling places? Excluding the ones in churches or schools of course.

  3. Noway says:

    How? By all accounts, he was wearing his normal “outfit.” How is his objecting to having to remove a hat that simply identified him as an NRA Instructor, which he is, petty?

    • Will Durant says:

      I’m a huge civil libertarian and personally feel that poll worker was going overboard and so is this guy by running to the media and the SoS over something that in my old-fashioned upbringing should be done by a gentleman regardless of the presence of advertising. He wasn’t “thrown out”. He was asked to remove his cap. BFD.

      There are many times I feel my rights are being infringed upon but you need to pick your battles. For example it would be inadvisable at a DUI checkpoint to refuse to comply unless you want to face the hassle. As mentioned in the story the Supremes have determined that your free speech rights are inhibited at polling places. So there is precedence. As to the other examples, let me turn it around, would you be so quick to jump on this if the cap had the logo of any other lobbyist organization than the sanctified NRA?

      • Noway says:

        I wouldn’t have given a crap if he or anyone else in line had a Sierra Club hat on or another group. He was one guy, not politicking and going about his business of voting. To use your quote, “BFD.” The poll worker was wrong 100%. The overzealous poll worker should apologize. By the way, his hat said “Instructor.” I’m also an NRA instructor. It is a title, not a voting message.

        • Will Durant says:

          So in your opinion he is not being overzealous by going to the media and occupying the SoS’s time who is likely pretty busy on more important matters like getting his picture taken with the correct lapel pin. All because he is a brother NRA instructor. He was asked to remove his cap and is being petty by trying to make a mountain out of an ant hill as is this exchange here.

          • Noway says:

            The only thing petty, here, Will, is his having been asked to remove it. There was no reason to ask him to remove it. He wasn’t advocating for any-damn-body. The poll worker was a douche trying to throw his/her weight around. As for his going to the press, he felt he was asked to do something he felt was unreasonable. Should he just shut the hell up, Will, and just “take it?” Hell, no. I’m sure the SoS has the time to hear a case of poll worker abuse. That’s their God-d**n job. And like I said, I don’t care if he was wearing a Sierra Club hat or a UAW hat. Either instance would have been just as wrong. “All because he was a fellow NRA Instructor.” Really? You’re an idiot.

            • Will Durant says:

              I didn’t ask if you personally cared what was on the hat. Let me clarify, would you be here posting with such vehemence and vitriol if this person had worn a hat advertising for Georgia Equality? Your evasion of that question and identification of yourself as a fellow NRA instructor led me to understand that you found this person to be a kindred spirit. If however, this had been an LGBT lobbying group’s name on the cap and you can honestly tell me you would have reacted the exact same way and posted this vigorous support of this travesty and massive affront to this person’s civil liberties, you have my apology. “You are a better man than I am Gunga Din.”

  4. Noway says:

    What about Buzz’s other examples? Should poll workers throw them out, too? They haven’t. Clearly, the poll worker has a political agenda. He/She should be the one asked to leave.

  5. John Konop says:

    It is an interesting issue….The line is does the organization endorse candidates….I am from up north and Unions clearly endorse Dems….If the UAW is doing their get out the vote campaign should they be able to wear UAW Hats….? I think unless a candidate name is on it should not matter….

  6. ten10 says:

    It’s like the time I was in East Cobb voting and a woman was there with her children dressed in all red. I assume she was going for the republican ticket–given the location too. There are subtle ways one can show pride.

    • blakeage80 says:

      Then we’d have to be careful about the type of food we served so it didn’t seem to be deterring people from voting. If the county brought in soul food, it wood be called pandering to a certain demographic. If they served Indian, they would be accused of intimidating voters with IBS. If they served kimchi, well, overall turnout would dip to historic lows. Russians all eat boring, boiled food and meat pies, so they don’t have to worry about it.

        • Jon Lester says:

          A free shot after (and only after) voting sounds like a good idea to me, as long as it’s not something terrible like Mr. Boston (which it most certainly would be if the program were state-sponsored).

      • Jon Lester says:

        It’s also home to over 100 indigenous ethnic groups.

        Actually, we should just encourage private groups to sponsor election day dinners, appropriately far enough and inconspicuous from the polling stations. Then people can choose BBQ, vegan, something in between, or to forego the offer.

  7. Doug Grammer says:

    Unless the cap has the name of a candidate, political party, or logo of such, let him wear it. I’d be okay with him being asked to remove it for vulgar language and pics, but after that, it is a slippery slope.

    • WeymanCWannamakerJr says:

      If a complaint was made to the poll worker it puts them on the slippery slope as well if they do not act. When the resolution is the simple removal of a cap for a few minutes, where is the harm.

  8. The Comma Guy says:

    Perhaps the poll worker should be paying more attention to voters who bring their cell phones into the polling place and take selfies with the ballots and post them illegally rather than being a fashion interpreter. There was a story on WSB today about one of the DA candidates in Douglas posting a selfie with her ballot. And the candidate then went off on the WSB reporter because they were asking what the candidate wanted to say about committing a crime and posting evidence of it for all the world to see…

  9. WeymanCWannamakerJr says:

    Upon further review Laurie Fulton, Douglas County’s Election Supervisor, told Fox 5 that they instigated an inquiry to the Secretary of State’s office for a ruling on NRA paraphernalia in a polling place. Earlier in the week they had asked another person to remove an NRA cap at the behest of another voter who perceives the NRA as a Republican affiliated organization. Later that week Mr. Cobb showed up with his cap and in an “overabundance of caution” he was asked to remove it to avoid the perception of electioneering in the polling place. Mr. Cobb told Fox 5 that he wears the cap in order to drum up business as a gun instructor and also proudly displayed the 11 pages of Google hits to his name now due to this “controversy”. He submits that his motive “isn’t about politics” and I would submit that in this case he is mostly correct in that assessment.

    Georgia Code is a bit cloudy on this one as there is language regarding campaigning in the polling place for political candidates, parties, ballot initiatives, and at least a mention of political “bodies”. What is not vague is this portion of the SoS’s training manual for poll workers:
    “…campaign paraphernalia should be removed
    prior to entering the statutory limits for campaigning at polling places. Therefore, poll
    workers should instruct the voter to remove or cover the restricted material, if possible.
    Although there is arguably an infinite number of ways that a person may violate
    prohibitions to electioneering and campaigning at a polling place, it is imperative that
    election officials remain vigilant and keep with the spirit of the language of the statute
    when responding to questionable behavior.”
    It is important to note that the part-time poll worker can be found in violation of the code and can be charged if they choose to ignore this behavior as well.

    As to whether the NRA is a political body or not I will leave to the lawyers. As to whether they lean Republican I would submit that their PAC spending so far this year has been approx. $30 million to either support GOP candidates or oppose Dems. They have spent $47K going the other way.
    http://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/detail.php?cmte=National%20Rifle%20Assn&cycle=2014

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