This awful incident was passed along by my daughter by a friend, a young black woman in Atlanta, Georgia.
So the friend, a black thirty-something young professional, showed up to early vote at her polling place in Atlanta, Georgia. This happened this past Friday. The early voting location was the same as her regular polling place--smooth sailing, right? This young woman had lived in her current house for years, and voted at this polling place many times.
The election worker said, you’re not in the system. Did you register?
But I MUST be in the system, I've been registered for years. I’ve voted here before.
Have you moved? This is not your polling place! the worker (a woman) insisted.
No, I live in the same place I’ve lied for years, and I’ve voted here every election.
Well, you’re not in the system. You must have voted at a different place.
No I voted HERE.
Well, you’re not in the system.
I have to be in the system.
No, you're not. You're mistaken. You can't vote here.
A standoff ensues. The young woman refuses to go away. A driver’s license showing the young woman’s address—no good.
Basically, the election worker tells her, you’re outta here. You’re not voting here.
Hoping against hope, the young woman emptied out her purse on the table, and SHE FOUND IT!!!
She found the Voter Registration Card, with district, precinct and polling place--plus the official seal of the state--all right there.
She shoved the card in the worker’s face.
Oh, said the woman. And then entered some keystrokes and finally handed her a ballot.
You think it can’t happen to you? HA! Don’t kid yourself. This woman has been voting for years. In the same place. And that slimeball election official was flat-out NOT going to give her a ballot to vote.
Only that registration card saved her. With that card, it could not be denied that she belonged right there.
The Obama campaign has a hotline: 877-874-6226.Call if they try to turn you away.
If she were a new voter, she'd have probably been confused enough to retreat. (As it was, she asked my daughter, a lawyer, if there were "different rules" for early voting.)
Be ready when you go to vote. Take that voter registration card! Take your driver's license. If you have a passport, take it. Take the above phone number with you.
Take the number of your local voting commission too. Have your cell phone charged and ready (though some polling places require it not be ringing).
STOP THIS! WE CANNOT LET THEM DO THIS TO US. The Republicans will NOT steal this election away from us.
(Small personal note: I got a little interrogation when I went to early vote. About my birthday. About where my usual precinct polling place was. About how long I'd lived in my house. I'm white, but I must have looked like one of THEM to the elderly folks working the polls. I did pass the test--but I had my voter registration card as backup just in case.)
UPDATE: This happened at Fairview Public Library on Fairview Rd. in Stockbridge, GA. People of Stockbridge, look out.