SIDNEY, Ohio (WDTN) – The Superintendent of Sidney City Schools was turned away at the polls this morning as he tried to cast his early vote.
The district has an issue on the ballot and Superintendent Bob Humble was wearing a shirt with school colors and a school logo.
“I opened up the door and I’m not kidding you. I put one foot in the door, not even halfway through the door and a lady looks up and says you can’t come in here wearing that,” said Humble.
The superintendent told 2 NEWS this issue has nothing to do with him, his school or the ballot issue.
“If they (voters) happen to have their Sidney shirt on when they go in to vote and they are turned away at the polling place on election day, which is the last day to vote…” said Humble.
He’s more concerned about families that are trying to vote on the last day. Not long ago, Sidney passed a school levy by exactly one vote.
“We understand that it’s a nuisance. But here in Shelby County we have made it real easy. Just zero tolerance for that. That’s been the policy for over a decade,” said Chairman Christopher Gibbs of the Shelby County Board of Elections.
There’s a sign near the front door that displays that message. A message that could be interpreted differently by different people.
During our investigation at 2 NEWS, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office told us the county is in the wrong. As long as the shirts don’t carry a message, no one should be bothered.
Husted’s office says they have been in touch with the Shelby County Board of Elections.
Despite the misunderstanding of state law, the board of elections in Shelby County does provide alternatives.
“We have offered to pin a piece of paper over it so that they can vote. No voter is ever turned away,” said Pamela Kerrigan, the Director of the Shelby County Board of Elections. “We will do whatever we can to accommodate them within reason. Location managers have proposed having a jacket available for them to cover it up or some kind of clothing.”
Officials maintain they never denied Humble access to voting, but simply asked him to change or cover up the logo.
Humble plans on voting later and hopes his story fixes decades of illegal practices in Shelby County.