Poll workers signed up to help voters. Instead, we were abused by Trump supporters

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/commentary/fl-op-com-polling-sites-campaign-intimidation-20201104-rfr6d6npune7daoihytqsogbhq-story.html

I did not sign up for this.

When I registered to be a poll worker, I looked at it as an active, nonpartisan way to contribute to our democracy. I thought that working the polls was essential to helping others — particularly those whose votes are often suppressed — have access to open and fully staffed polling places where they could exercise one of the foundations of our democracy by voting for president.

When I decided to work every single day of early voting, plus Election Day itself, I had expectations of a positive experience and an opportunity to contribute to my community.

But I didn’t sign up for this. I didn’t sign up to be threatened, harassed, taunted, harangued and even physically assaulted. But I got all of this, and more.

Jeffrey A. Kasky is a lawyer, a Florida Supreme Court-certified mediator, and is not a member of any political party (NPA).
Jeffrey A. Kasky is a lawyer, a Florida Supreme Court-certified mediator, and is not a member of any political party (NPA).

Trump supporters treated the outside of my polling place in West Boca Raton like a college football tailgate party, complete with their own sound systems blasting the music of artists who most definitely do not share their political and social views. There were overflowing coolers; cardboard cutouts of Trump and his wife for the time being; gigantic pick-up trucks over-adorned with Trump, MAGA, KAG and QAnon flags; and a palpable combination of anger, stupidity and revelry. They were joined at times by local lawyer and failed Palm Beach County Commission candidate David Irving Shiner and his similarly enthusiastic and raucous team. Trump’s faithful followers blocked access in and out of our polling place with their vehicles, interfered with traffic by standing in the streets and waving flags, and directly interfered with voters in the precinct by blasting the train horns from their jacked-up trucks directly into the polling place where voters were voting.

These self-styled patriots verbally harassed voters and poll workers, and even chanted the “n-word” at our precinct supervisor, a Black woman. One deranged Trump supporter attacked that same supervisor with an umbrella, injuring her forehead. This, to an elections office employee pulling 17- or 18-hour days to ensure your right to vote. And she wasn’t alone in being abused. A man decorated head-to-toe with cheap Trump memorabilia poked me repeatedly in the chest. Others threatened and harassed a group of teenage girls who arrived on Election Day to peacefully and quietly sit behind a “Students Demand Action” banner.

I signed up knowing I would interact with a thousand or more voters each day, but I didn’t sign up to be coughed at and spit upon by mask-refusers.

“Where were the police?” you ask. Good question. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office was called on both emergency and nonemergency lines at least a dozen times over the course of early voting and Election Day, and responded each time. Based on my observation, however, their interest in keeping the poll workers and voters safe was de minimis. When deputies made efforts to control the group, those efforts were cursory at best. One sergeant told me, “If you call again, we’re not coming back here anymore.”

Over the course of the two-plus weeks, less than a handful of deputies who responded to our pleas for help on behalf of our voters and ourselves actually took some effective action, but as soon as they left our precinct, the terrorism resumed.

Ours was but one of many precincts with similar problems in what was clearly a coordinated effort by Trump cultists, but many other precincts had detail deputies dedicated to their specific polling place.  We did not. Did we lose any voters to the threats and harassment? There’s no way to know for sure, but if just one voter was discouraged from exercising his or her constitutional right to vote due to these terroristic actions, it was one too many.

I do not feel as if Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link, who was fully aware of our precinct’s plight, made enough of an effort to keep us safe. While the supervisor was taking a stroll with Melania on Election Day, we were in a war zone. She had instructed us to call the police if we needed assistance, but those calls proved futile.

Trump supporters are members of a cult, whether they realize it or not. Today, they should be ashamed of themselves.

I did not sign up for this.

16 thoughts on “Poll workers signed up to help voters. Instead, we were abused by Trump supporters

  1. Paul November 5, 2020 / 16:39

    This is unbelievable. What a shame on our country and triple shame on Florida. A friend of mine here in Decatur, an African American woman, told me her sister went into the polling place in Florida and voted, no problem. When she came out, all four tires of her car had been slashed.

    Now, the truth is, you DO NOT see gangs of Democrats doing this sort of bullshit. What I still cannot understand is how, so many millions of people in the crazy country still voted for the SOB who literally called for this violence to happen? It is a mystery beyond understanding.
    Thank you Scottie for sharing this.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Scottie November 6, 2020 / 06:35

      Hello Paul. I agree. It is stunning to me that 40% of our country sees nothing wrong with what tRump \ Republicans are doing. Also nearly 10% don’t care either way. WTF? How is this a thing? My own thinking is too much corporate influence in politics, the destruction of education, the promotion of emotion over reason, and the Democrats becoming republican lite as their leaders get into their late 70’s and 80’s. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paul November 6, 2020 / 13:29

        I’ve just finished listening to a Brian Stelter report where one reporter recounts her reporting efforts during Trump rallies over the past year. She said that tRump would order the crowd to stare at the reporters and of course they did as master said and booed as well. But, the reporter stated that after the rally the same people would sidle up to the reporters for a pic and would readily talk and were generally friendly. I think what we see in many tRump raliies is mass hysteria which is different from individal acts. Now, having said that, why did those same people vote for someone whose mismanagement of government is now literally killing members of that same group…shit, I just don’t know. It’s an illogic that defies interpretation. The average MAGA person declares to hate MSNBC and then cozies up to the MSNBC reporter. WTF! Maybe it’s all a reality show to them. And they pull the tRump lever because they simply enjoy the show. Bizarre to say the least.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Scottie November 7, 2020 / 03:32

          Hello Paul. I think you have a point about reality shows. I read one maga person talk about the entertainment and joy / energy of a tRump rally and was sure tRump would win because Biden rallies had no energy and were boring. Such a low brow way to see the world. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Nan November 5, 2020 / 17:11

    OT … sort of — Scottie, as you know, I’ve been commenting on several of your posts; however, when I tried to “like” this one, I got that white box in the corner of my screen that I’ve told you about … and the system would not accept my “like.” This is crazy!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scottie November 6, 2020 / 06:54

      Hello Nan. There has been set backs here. For example this morning my glasses broke and I am using my backup pair which are not as good. Both Ron and I have been sick. I wanted to go get my blood test today and maybe get my glasses fixed, but we have to wait for Ron’s covid test.

      All that said I will get with chat support again I promise. I need to write it up better than last time. You say it does this on only a couple blogs and normally just in the morning? Is the white box on the post or the browser?

      Also did I mention that when we went to vote we did not realize until we were leaving that there was a person at the entry gates videoing all the cars going into and leaving the complex? I did not see any maga people in front of the polling place nor at the doors, but there were cars driving around I did not pay attention too. I did think it funny one car just kept circling the lot but I figured at the time they were waiting for someone to come out and wanted to pick them up at the sidewalk. Hugs

      Like

      • Nan November 6, 2020 / 12:19

        Sheesh, Scottie! If it’s not one thing, it’s ten more! Sorry about the glasses … AND both of you not feeling well. Perhaps the stress of the election?

        Re: the blips with WordPress … why don’t you see what you can come up with based on my comments and email it to me before you contact them. That way I can correct and/or answer any questions. And PLEASE … do this ONLY when you have the time and energy. It’s frustrating but not world-ending. 🙃

        Liked by 1 person

        • Scottie November 7, 2020 / 04:53

          Hello Nan. I was able to get my blood draw done quickly and the wonderful lady at the eye doctors office not only fixed my glasses but switched the good lenses to a different pair of the same frame style I like better. All for no charge. I love that office and the care they give but it is almost an hour from where we live. Oh well everything went well, but when I got home I soon needed to go to bed. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Liberated November 5, 2020 / 19:37

    I… wow. This is wrong on so many levels. It’s so crap to see people doing a public service being treated like this.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Scottie November 6, 2020 / 07:06

      Hello Paul. I agree. Yet his thugs think it is wonderful and grand. Decency, fairness, and convention mean nothing to them, they are all about their power and forcing others to do as they wish. Their will be done on earth, everywhere, and to hell with anyone who disagrees. I wonder where they get that attitude? I told Nan that our polling place is a recreation center and the entrance has gates both on the entrance side and the exit side. I noticed when we were leaving through the gates there was a person videoing the cars going in and out of the complex. I noticed inside there were cars driving around not parking, but I did not pay attention to what was on them. I did not see maga’s at the doors of the polling place. But I bet they were there on election day, as this area is a maga strong hold. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      • Liberated November 7, 2020 / 17:57

        A big congratulations to Biden winning. I bet you are happy about that. Trumps not taking it too well, I wonder if he will have to be forcefully removed?

        My name is not Paul 😉. You can call me Ben now as I’m not actually Covert anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Scottie November 8, 2020 / 09:15

          Hello Been. Not sure where I got Paul from? I am very happy that Biden won, I have hope we will win the two Senate seats in Georgia. I don’t think tRump will have to be dragged out, I think he is going to be delusional. Like yesterday he tried to set conditions on his leaving. He still after four years doesn’t understand our system, and his role in it. He seems to think he has a right to stop what he doesn’t like. He is ruining his brand by continuing to whine and cry and make stupid nonsense statements. He can not win now, it is over. His narrism is warring with his greed.

          Covert? Now that sounds interesting? A story to tell Ben? 😀😃😎 Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

          • Liberated November 8, 2020 / 19:43

            Maybe you mixed me up with another Paul commenting on your post haha. The problem with Trump is that he’s delusional and narcissistic, and he has never been challenged by his own party the last four years (as far as I’m aware). So a loss for him is incredibly hard to take, come to think of it, he has never accepted loss, which his supporters mistake for a good quality. Anyways I look forward to seeing how things go in your country the next four years.
            Yeah when I first made my blog I didn’t want anybody who I knew to find out, now I dont really care. Web address is still the same though, that is a bit more difficult to fix.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Scottie November 11, 2020 / 03:20

              Hello Ben. I figured out where I got you mixed up. You and Paul have a very similar avatar picture, same basic colors.

              I understand the slow coming out online. It is like what a lot of us older gay guys did as teens / young people. I look forward to you comments. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

  4. cagjr November 5, 2020 / 21:43

    They wave the flag. They wear the flag, along with their crosses, the stars and bars, and their outsized weapons which reflect their undersized brain. They proclaim themselves to be the patriot’s patriot, while they do everything in their power to destroy our democratically governed republic.

    For any other group, the National Guard, county, and state police would have been called in. Pepper spray, tear gas, and rubber bullets would have been used immediately. What these people are doing is contrary to normal human behavior, and the very opposite of constitutionally protected speech or peaceful assembly. They are the face of the Trump administration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scottie November 6, 2020 / 07:47

      Hello Cagjr. I agree, well said. Why has this become the normal though? How did tRump and his thugs normalize this behavior. How are they not being ostracized by the normal part of the country? I keep reminding people that the tRump cult is a minority even though Republicans treat them as the majority. The entire Republican party is a minority in the country, yet acts as though they are a super majority. How did it get this way? Might makes right was not something the US believed in for a very long time, yet now we do? Hugs

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.