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Santa Clara County, Calif.: Inappropriate challenges, insufficient translators, hostile poll workers

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Newsjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-13-08 09:37 PM
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Santa Clara County, Calif.: Inappropriate challenges, insufficient translators, hostile poll workers
Edited on Thu Nov-13-08 09:37 PM by Newsjock
http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_10977777

Public-interest lawyers who monitored 158 Santa Clara County polling places during last week's election found widespread shortcomings in foreign-language assistance and potentially problematic use of provisional ballots designed as a last-resort voting method when a citizen's registration cannot be verified.

... Although citizens have the right under state and federal law to language assistance, in dozens of precincts, trained poll monitors found bilingual translators were not available or did not identify themselves to voters needing guidance in Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese or Tagalog. Thirty-nine polling places did not display bilingual provisional voting instructions, as required.

... Thursday's report also noted what the authors called a "surprising number" of uncooperative and even hostile precinct workers; five poll monitors were asked to leave.

Attorney James Zahradka, who monitored three sites, says he was threatened with arrest.

At a site in San Jose near the Milpitas border, he noticed that every voter was being asked for identification. "I pointed out that was really not appropriate and only applied to a small subset of voters," Zahradka said. By law, only first-time voters in a federal election who registered by mail are required to present identification.

"At first there was defensiveness, which morphed into hostility," Zahradka said. "And then they said they were going to call the police which I took as an invitation to leave."
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-13-08 10:34 PM
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1. He left when threatened with the police?? Why? Was he doing anything illegal?
It was those that were asking for ID that were doing something illegal.
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