Emotions ran high surrounding the 2016 presidential race between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.
So when one Georgia woman showed up to vote on Tuesday in a shirt promoting the “wine party," she thought she was doing her part to ease Election Day tensions.
Joanna Chesley, a school cafeteria worker from the Atlanta area, says she was “dumbfounded” when she wasn’t allowed into the polling site to perform her civic duty.
“I can't believe I go to cast my vote for presidency of this country and my First Amendment rights are violated at the polls,” Chesley told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
— AJC (@ajc) November 9, 2016
Chesley claims that one of the polling station volunteers outside the Forsyth County administration building told her she couldn't wear the shirt inside. The unnamed volunteer allegedly claimed that voters are not allowed to vote or promote any political party
“I thought she was joking,” Chesley said. “I wasn't promoting any party.”
Still, the cafeteria worker says she was escorted to the bathroom in order to turn her t-shirt inside out before being redirected back inside the building to vote.
But a Forsyth County polling volunteer said the incident shouldn’t have occurred.
“If the context has anything to do with any slogans, they're asked to turn their shirt inside out," volunteer Joann Mulrey told the Constitution. "But that shouldn't have happened.”
Chesley is glad she was eventually able to cast her ballot-- and says she was happy to have brought a little joy to an otherwise tense day.
“This election has everyone on edge and my shirt was only meant to make people laugh and relax,” Chesley said.
“And for many it did.”