A Texas woman was prohibited from early voting last month for wearing a t-shirt that read, “Vote the Bible.”
The pro-family group Texas Values reported that election workers at a polling place in Williamson County, near Austin, Texas, told Kay Hill her shirt was offensive.
The workers told Hill she could not vote unless she turned her shirt inside out, went home to change or somehow covered up the words. After refusing to wear her shirt inside out or go home, one of the workers lent Hill a sweater to cover up the words.
“No one else should have to suffer the humiliation, embarrassment and intimidation that Ms. Hill endured. No one should be asked to give up their religious freedom in order to vote,” Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz said.
“I felt very embarrassed, humiliated, offended myself,” Hill said. “I just don't think it's right that they've done this to me and I don't think it's right if they were to do it to anyone else.”
Saenz added, “It's outrageous that a person of faith would be mistreated this way while trying to vote. If this isn't voter intimidation, I don't know what is.”
Hill explained: “I prayed a lot about this after this happened, and I feel like I do need to stand up and do the right thing and come out with this. It's not partisan to have the word Bible on your shirt. We all as Christians should step up some time and do the right thing.”
Texas Values called the incident “a clear attack on religious freedom,” and said the organization formally requested Williamson County to apologize to Hill and allow the shirt at the polls.
The group reported last week that officials refused to apologize, stating that Williamson County Election Administrator Rick Barron said, “Officials won't apologize.” Texas Values also reports that Barron said Hill is “politically naive.”
“We are disappointed that Williamson County officials would continue their mistreatment of Ms. Hill. First calling her Bible t-shirt “offensive” and now personally calling her names,” Saenz said. “The county had an opportunity to do the right thing and apologize, but now Ms. Hill is left with no choice but to file her complaint with the Secretary of State’s office.”
With the help of Texas Value, Hill has filed a formal complaint with the Texas Secretary of State’s office regarding this matter.