A Georgia man who was instructed to remove his NRA Instructor cap before being allowed to participate in early voting at a Douglas County polling place in October 2014 has agreed to drop his lawsuit against elections officials and has subsequently received a written apology for the incident.
A press released issued by Southeastern Legal Foundation earlier this month reports that a settlement has been reached, including an apology, in the case of Bundy Cobb.
In addition, the Douglas County Board of Elections and Registration (BOER) agreed to officially clarify its policy regarding what constitutes illegal campaigning at a polling place.
In October, when Cobb went to a Douglasville polling station to vote early, he was told to remove his khaki NRA Instructor cap if he wanted to vote. Cobb, a retired insurance agent and Vietnam veteran who said he became a firearms safety instructor in his retirement, complied with the poll worker’s order, but later vowed to fight the matter in court.
At the time, Douglas County Elections officials argued that wearing the cap was in violation of Georgia Law requiring that no campaigning or campaign materials are permitted within 150 feet of a polling station or within 25 feet of any voter standing in line.
As part of the settlement, the Douglas County Board of Elections and Registration (BOER) and the individual defendants, including Voter Registration Clerk Constance Bowen and Elections Supervisor Laurie Fulton:
- Adopted a formal policy forbidding poll workers and elections officials from banning persons who are wearing clothing or displaying other materials that are not directly related to candidates or issues on the ballot.
- Issued a public apology letter to Cobb, acknowledging that “you should not have been asked to remove your NRA Instructor hat, and I am sorry that you were asked to do so.”
The apology letter cites the new policy adopted by the Board “to ensure that it protects the rights of all persons in or around polling places in Douglas County.”