Another Ballot Box Story from Texas

I am the County Chairman of the Democratic Party of Van Zandt County [on the Eastern

border of Kaufman County]. On Election Day, I had to appoint myself as a poll watcher in one of our

minority precincts.

The GOP election judges there were essentially doing everything they

could to prevent African Americans from voting. Two judges and I nearly got in a fight, I called one a

racist, and it was very ugly.

Among other things, they accused an African-American woman

of fabricating a driver’s license. Her maiden name was on the license, but her married name in the

poll book. Address, middle name, all else, were the same. Refusing to call the County Clerk as

prescribed by law, they tried to force her to vote a provisional ballot. I argued with them for over 20

minutes, during which time the entire line was held up. The woman was finally allowed to vote an actual

ballot, but after tremendous problems.

They also refused to tell voters what constituted

ID if they didn’t have ID. In one instance, since poll watchers can’t talk to voters, I finally told

the election judge, “look, you have to tell her that x, x, x, x, x, x, x and x constitute a form of

ID.” The woman heard this and produced her only form of ID–an insurance card with her SSN, address,


[Vince Leibowitz, via email Jan. 1, 2005]

By mopress

Writer, Editor, Educator, Lifelong Student

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