Mi Voto

By Luis Vazquez - 11.02.2010

I am so angry right now.

I went to vote this morning at 7 am.  I called yesterday to make sure that I was at the right precinct.

So I show up this morning and I am asked for my name. No one in the room is bilingual and it is an all White staffed precinct.  I pronounce my name several times and spell it out each time and they cannot find my name.

I then give them my license and they check and they still cannot find my name.  I ask if I can look at the sheet for my name and they say it is not allowed.

I get sent to another table that has another precinct coverage for another area.  My name is not on this list either.

I go through the exact same process; however this time I give them my license first to guarantee no misspellings. Again, my name could not be found.

I am still being really nice but becoming frustrated and saying to myself –these are volunteers and they are doing the best they can do.

I then get told to go to the county court to check out what happened, which is clear across town, or fill out a provisional ballot.  Of course, I said I would fill out a provisional ballot.

They hand me the ballot and I get put at this high desk that they call a booth — no privacy and everyone is looking at me.  I open my provisional ballot and it is all in Spanish.

Some of the ways they presented things on the ballot were not written well in Spanish, so I also asked for the English version for everything to make sure that I did not miss anything that would enable me to make an informed decision.

When I asked for the English version, the lady behind the table proceeds to tell me to just fill out the Spanish version.  I asked her again politely to give me the English version. She proceeds to tell me, “Why can’t you fill out the Spanish version?”

At that point, I decided to make this a teachable moment and asked the monitor to listen to my discussion with the lady behind the table.

I shared with her that she should not be making assumptions and instead it would be most appropriate if she would just ask the voter what they would prefer or hand out the English version first, and then share that there are options of language for the ballots.

The monitor apologized to me and said that what just happened was totally inappropriate.  I then fill out the provisional ballot and got told that it will be mailed in and that I could check on the website 10 days after today to see if it got counted.  Read more »