DMN's Wayne Slater Says Poll Worker Illegally Demanded Photo ID. She Says Slater Was a Dick.

Categories: Media, Politics

WayneSlater.JPG
Wayne Slater: victim of overzealous poll workers or raging asshole?
Just in case you've forgotten, you don't need a photo ID to vote in Texas. Republicans did push a measure through the Legislature last year requiring exactly that, but the law was challenged and ultimately put on hold in August by a federal court, which concluded the rule would effectively disenfranchise many poor, minority voters.

Not everyone got that memo, as the Morning News Wayne Slater learned over the weekend when he showed up to early vote in Williamson County, where he lives. Slater detailed his experience in a blog post and column for the paper.

I entered my early-voting polling place last weekend at the Georgetown Parks & Recreation office. I showed the supervisor, Peggy, my utility bill from the city of Georgetown bearing my name and address. Peggy looked over her glasses at me with disapproval.

Peggy: "Do you have a driver's license?"

Me: "This is what I'm giving you for identification."

Peggy: "We prefer a voter-registration card or a driver's license. There's a list of identifications starting with registration card, driver's license, picture ID -- we prefer to go in that order."

Me: "Does that mean, Peggy, that I can't vote with this?"

At that point, she got up, turned around and began leafing through a booklet with the state law. Another supervisor scurried over. Peggy said I wasn't producing a photo ID.

He looked quickly at my utility bill and said, "That looks fine."

Peggy responded: "It has to be a current utility bill."

He looked over the bill. It was current. "This looks fine," he said.

Peggy then punched my name in the computer and announced that I'm not a registered voter. I have a current registration card so I know I'm registered. The second supervisor came back and looked over the screen. Peggy had mistyped my name. He pointed out the error. She fixed it. I voted.

But Slater only gives one side of the story. For the other, we turn to the Williamson County Sun, which identified the poll worker in question as Peggy Moore and gave her the opportunity to give her version of events.

Only a brief synopsis of the article is available online, but if you squint you can make out the first part of the story on the picture this guy tweeted.

Moore doesn't dispute any of the facts in Slater's piece, opting instead for the ever-handy ad hominem attack.

In an interview with the Sun, Ms. Moore said Mr. Slater was rude and obviously came into the polling place with an agenda.

'He walked through not as a happy camper,' Ms. Moore said. 'He was very intimidating to the staff. He raised his voice. Threw his bill on the counter. He was not interested in answers -- he was trying to make a point.'

In an email to Unfair Park Slater denies being a dick ("I never raised my voice or tried to be intimidating any way. I was direct and serious, but even-keel the whole time."), though he admits to having something of an agenda.

"The only agenda I had was to see if poll workers in my county were following the law," he writes. "We're in this in-between period right now with the photo-ID law in abeyance but some folks pressing the idea that it's required."

As far as agendas go, that one's pretty hard to find fault with. People like Moore serve as gatekeepers to the polls. The point Slater makes in his column and restates in his email is that less knowledgeable voters -- immigrants, the poor, the elderly -- could very easily be intimidated and turned away by people like Moore which, whatever one thinks of voter ID, is against the law.

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29 comments
HappyConservative
HappyConservative

"the immigrants, the poor, the elderly"

 

Curious. How do they pick up certified letters, use insurance cards, cash checks, take a flight, rent a home, etc.

rain391
rain391

I misplaced my new driver's license while in Europe but didn't know it, so showed up with no ID.  I immediately went home and got my passport so there would be no wrangling what-so-ever.   I didn't know what laws might have been changed the month we were gone.   Everyone was very nice at the fire station in West McKinney even though they seemed worried I wouldn't come back.  I said "I have to cancel out my spouse's vote" and they actually laughed.  Come to find out, I didn't.

TSTS
TSTS

I used to work with Wayne Slater, and I'll cast my vote with the "He's a dick" camp. Big-time.

cheapoldgeezer
cheapoldgeezer

I tend to believe Wayne's side of this deal. I've know him for 30 years or so and never known him to be a dick or anything even close. Just a well informed journalist and a truly nice guy. But as we become old codgers and geezers the younger set often sees us as dicks, pricks, old farts, and many other expletives to numerous to list.  

todd
todd

I'm going to use my DL for identification because it's more convenient than tracking down a utility bill or voter reg card.  

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

The selfish, hateful, greedy gopers know the only way to win is to cheat.

It's in their DNA, which ironically they don't believe in because it's science based.

Daniel
Daniel

I bet he wishes he had been denied the right to vote, just so he'd have a better story.

/pervasivecynicism

bigjondaniel
bigjondaniel

@WayneSlater You should have sent one of your minions to go try and vote with a util bill, instead of doing it yourself. How dare you report

lawnav
lawnav

@WayneSlater Poll worker should have been fired. If roles reversed, & GOP voter treated this way, Governor would have called out Nat'l Guard

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

A new ThinkProgress investigation has found that in Iowa, Romney poll watchers are being trained to watch for voters who show up without a photo ID, even though no voter ID law exists in the state.

 

In a training video for Romney poll watchers in Iowa, the narrator tells volunteers to be on the lookout for anytime “a voter fails to show a voter ID and they are still permitted to vote.” If that happens, he says, “alert the legal team so they can handle the problem.” The text of the campaign’s slide, however, says something contradictory, instructing volunteers when poll workers should check the voter’s ID. Despite the mixed messages, the slide ends with: “If an election worker is not checking photo ID, please call the legal hotline immediately.”

 

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@Montemalone - There is no such thing as voter fraud, but greedy thieving cheating republicans can only win through voter fraud, and that's why the majority of democrats support photo ID, but they are against it. Do I have that right?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @Montemalone Actually, we know that the only way to win is to get more votes than the Dem Margin of Fraud.  The more fraud we can root out, the less we have to over-win by.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@Daniel - If he had worn a T-shirt with "Vote The Bible" on the back, he would have had a better story.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Voter ID is the card the ounty clerk sends you. It is not the same as photo ID. Anyone showing up without Voter ID should get challenged in any jurisdiction. it is why the poll watchers are there. You make sure the clerks follow the state rules to the letter, whatever they happen to be. If people cannot follow the rules, they do not vote. Voting is a task we reserve for adults and you prepare yourself for this close to sacred act. If you stroll on down as you if you were headed to a 7-11 for a six pack, you may not be successful. You are part of a ritual that is over 200 years old. Man up, know and follow the legal and court tested rules, show the little card the County Clerk gave you, and get your ballot. It is that simple.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Even if it's not illegal it is still a warning sign.  

 

Besides, if you are so sure, then you should support the Romney campaign wasting it's legal resources on wild goose chases.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @albert.finney000  @Montemalone or, they discard democrat voter registration cards.  If it's such a travesty for a fraudulent vote to be cast, isn't it just as tragic when a registered voter is denied their vote?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @MikeWestEast that's not true, they cast a provisional ballot.  Again, black and white interpretations from a spectrum of color.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps Hi, Phlops.  In all, 34,000 of these Romney "poll watchers" have been trained to mislead voters at the polls in several swing states.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz - According to your previous post, poll workers are instructed to call the legal hot line. How is that "misleading voters"?

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