Do I report this?
We just got back from voting - my boyfriend, me, and my 11 year old daughter came with us. The building has the voting divided by neighborhood/street - half in the lobby, half in the classrooms/basement. For anyone who doesn't know, my daughter is a special needs person, and was very bouncy and excited over going to vote with Mommy.
When we walked into the lobby of the building, an older white guy was there, handing out voter guide sheets. There was not a Democratic volunteer across from him on the other side of the lobby. When I heard him say "Republican" I drew back my hand and quickly said, "Oh, no not us." And I kept walking away. He said, loudly, to my back, "Republican's a vote for the future!'
I turned around, shocked. "I'm voting for my rights. And my daughter's rights and her future." And I put my arm around her shoulders.
He raised his voice even louder at me, "This is for my grandson's future and rights."
Now my boyfriend was already urging me in a low voice, "Ignore him, he's a nut job, ignore him."
I still said back, "Yeah, so your grandson will have his rights and my daughter won't?!?"
Let me just say this, thanks to Daily Kos, and being fed up just about up to HERE with the disgraceful way Republicans have treated our President over the past 4 years, I wasn't about to be pushed around and intimidated... but other women would be. The guy was loud, and embarrassing, and intimidating, and I'm sure if my daughter was a developmentally normal 11 year old, she would have wanted to die on the spot. As it was she got really quiet... but she watched proudly as I voted for Obama 4 years ago, and I had her watch me this time too, to teach her the importance of voting. She knew her mama wasn't being run off by anyone, but the nasty old guy took some of her excitement away, and that's NOT OK.
We then turned to the table where they were looking up names. They had seen the whole thing and NONE of them offered to have me fill in a complaint or report the incident. They had to direct us to the other area of the building, so we went.
As we were walking around the building, I asked my boyfriend if he thought I should report that exchange, for the guy trying to intimidate me and making a scene in public. He said "I'm a witness, yes, you should report it." There was a Democratic volunteer handing out guides outside the building down by that entrance, but we didn't need any - both knew we were voting straight Dem, and said so. She was very happy to hear that. When we got down there, and were waiting in line (I was #95 to vote, waited about 40 minutes in line at 7:30 am), still talking about whether to report the incident or not, one of the election judges was there and walked past. Seeing her badge, I told her I wanted to report being verbally harassed and intimidated by a Republican pollster in the upper lobby. She was very concerned, but came back with a form, but apologetically pointed out it was only for people who had trouble voting due to disabilities. She then came back with a blank paper, and I wrote out my full name and that I'd been verbally bothered and embarrassed in front of everyone, including my daughter, by the Republican in the upper lobby. Nothing was done or said otherwise.
We voted and left, and I came right on to ask, is this the kind of incident I should report? I was able to vote, but I was made very uncomfortable by a Republican volunteer inside the building, at the polling place. Your advice?
6:15 AM PT: UPDATE: I called 1-866-687-8683 and "due to unusually high call volume" was only able to leave a message for the operator, but I did select to make it "urgent". I left my name, phone number, state, county and zip code, and that I thought I'd been verbally harassed at the polling place when I went to vote in my message. Keeping fingers crossed.
6:48 AM PT: Thank you for the Rec List. I'm honored.
7:25 AM PT: UPDATE and Thanks to Cedwyn, Please visit and print out this diary before voting if you can, to know exactly what to do - I wish I'd had it with me when this incident happened! http://www.dailykos.com/...
12:12 PM PT: UPDATE: a nice OFA volunteer was walking the neighborhood getting out the vote this afternoon. I told him we had, and then told him what happened. He gave me a sticker with 1-855-834-8683 on it, where I was able to speak to a real person, who then had a local manager call me back directly. I'm stopping by the poll again to see if the same guy is still there - if he is, I'm calling the OFA manager back directly on his cell.