Texas Poll Workers Try to Tell Latinos How to Vote
Secret Ballot, Voter Preference Must Be Put First
(Washington, D.C.) – Poll workers in San Antonio, Texas, have been admonished for attempting to require Hispanic voters to vote in a Democratic primary, rather than a Republican primary, as they had requested. According to a local report, these poll workers violated rules by requiring voters to declare party affiliation in front of other voters. Furthermore, a poll worker reportedly told one Hispanic woman "you are a Hispanic, you're not a Republican." An election administrator took steps to correct the problem, but reportedly said "Does this happen every so often? Yeah, I'm sorry to say it does."
It is extremely worrying that people empowered by the government to oversee elections are acting to steer voters to one party or the other. Latinos and others should not face illegal pressure to identify with a particular candidate or party.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:
"The nonpartisan officials charged with protecting the integrity of the election process must not politicize it. This is a fundamental rule of our democracy. American Hispanics hold a diversity of views. They don't belong to just one political party. It's insulting and patronizing to act as if they do, and to try to tell them to line up behind candidates who don't reflect their views or advance their interests.
Elections are about the choices of individual Americans. If we can't count on election officials themselves to respect those choices, there are serious problems. The LIBRE Initiative recognizes the diversity of thought withing the Hispanic community, and continues to be committed to advancing those principles."
For interviews with a LIBRE representative, please contact: Brian Faughnan, 571-257-3309 or Steven Cruz, 202-578-6173.