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
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]