Charges Dropped Against Masked Voter

Saturday, July 7th 2007, 1:59 pm
By: News On 6

SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) _ A man charged under a decades-old law for wearing a mask to a polling place no longer faces charges in the case.

Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon says the misdemeanor case against 28-year-old Christopher Dale Nichols was dismissed Thursday because a new law has been enacted by the state Legislature.

Nichols, a journalism student at Oklahoma Baptist University wore the mask to a polling place last November 7th.

He says he was trying to convey an anti-authoritarian message with humor by wearing the mask, which resembled one worn by the hero in the movie ``V for Vendetta.''

Nichols has been required to apologize in writing to both Election Board Secretary Diana Knight and school Superintendent Mickey Maynard.

Smothermon had charged Nichols under a 1923 law that barred the wearing of masks in public. Smothermon says the law likely was passed to curtail intimidation by groups like the Ku Klux Klan and made it mandatory for him to file the charge against Nichols.