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Broncos Gear Barred at Some Polls

October 28, 1998

DENVER (AP) _ The unbeaten Denver Broncos may be flying high on the field, but team gear is taboo at some polling places.

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

Officials feared that letting people sport the Bronco gear would be interpreted as illegal electioneering near polling places, said Douglas County elections chief John Green. The policy is already in effect at polling centers opened for early voting in advance of next Tuesday’s Election Day.

Secretary of State Vikki Buckley doesn’t think such a ban is necessary. Broncos garb is allowed as long as no reference is made to the vote, said Ed Arcuri, elections director in Buckley’s office.

``I think you can be a Denver Broncos fan without supporting (the stadium initiative) or opposing it. Now, if somebody shows up with a button that says `vote for,′ or `vote against,′ that’s electioneering,″ Arcuri said.

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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