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View Diary: UPDATED: Protecting An Election: My Day in Hell (33 comments)

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  •  Thank you for doing this job! (6+ / 0-)

    I worked for the very first time yesterday, handing out literature for John Courage outside of the polls here in Texas. At the wealthy white precinct, things seemed to go quietly, although parking was problematic at the school when everyone showed up to pick up children (why put your darling on a school bus when they could be driven home in a Hummer?...but that is another topic!)

    My last assignment of the day was at an elementary school in a much more rural and racially diverse precinct where we discovered, when a voter finally came out at 5 minutes to 7(there was a TWO HOUR wait for some folks!!) that the precinct judge was making all voters throw out their campaign literature - ALL of it - as soon as they they entered the school lobby.  At least they were bipartisan about that, but it was a clear infringement of the voter's rights to have it with them. This had evidently been the case ALL DAY LONG.

    Then, a minute later, an angry woman came out with her daughter, who had come to vote for the very first time, and said it took the pecinct folks an hour and a half to determine that they were in the wrong precinct, and would not let them vote. period. and the polls were closed by the time they figured this out.  And they were not allowed to fill out a provisional ballot.  At least, one of the local news guys had set up his camera outside this polling place and got their story, and was waiting to talk to the voting officials there.  I wish I had been armed with a better understanding of what was legally required and what we could have done to help her.

    Other stories from the trenches: a woman who was not allowed to assist her mother at the polls even though a voter is legally allowd to bring someone to assist them, and a voter who claimed that the Courage campaign kept harassing her after 9 pm with calls (another case of the robo-calling scam?)

    It was so much to absorb in such a short time.

    I'll rec your diary!  I think we all need to be an army of voting observers in the next round of elections - I do believe the evil eye of Karl Rove has seen that even small instances of voter disenfranchisement can hand the GOP an election they should not win.

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