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Pollsters Back Off Bronco Ban

October 28, 1998

DENVER (AP) _ Broncos fans 1, county election officials 0.

As voters in six metropolitan-area counties decide a tax measure to finance a $360 million stadium for the Super Bowl champions, Douglas County election officials had barred fans from wearing their orange and blue Bronco hats, jerseys or jackets within 100 feet of polling stations.

Wearing such clothing could be interpreted as illegal electioneering near polling places, Douglas County elections chief John Green had said. The ban was already in effect at polling centers opened for early voting in advance of next Tuesday’s election.

Today, however, after Secretary of State Vicki Buckley said the ban wasn’t necessary, Green backed off.

``We have received a fax from the secretary of state stating that sports apparel do not appear to be prohibited by electioneering laws and we will abide by that,″ Green said.

``I think you can be a Denver Broncos fan without supporting (the stadium initiative) or opposing it,″ Ed Arcuri, elections director in Buckley’s office, had said earlier.

In the other metro area counties, election officials said Tuesday that only election judges were barred from wearing team apparel.

``As far as voters are concerned, 50 percent of their closets look like Broncos stuff,″ said Joan Fitz-Gerald, Jefferson County clerk.

The initiative would extend the life of an existing penny-per-$10 sales tax to raise money for a new stadium to replace Denver-owned Mile High Stadium.

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