When elections need protection

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  • Published 20090505
  • ISBN: 9780733323959
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

THE CALL CAME at the very end of my four-hour shift on election day 2008: ‘Ma’am, I’m calling from Missouri, where I’m a poll worker, and my sister tells me – she’s over at another polling place – there’s a man there giving $100 bills to folks, mostly to black folks, to get off the voting line. I didn’t know what to do, so I’m calling you there at 1-866-OURVOTE. Can’t you do something? Can’t you stop this thing? It’s a long, long line – and people are sick of waiting, and they sure could use that money.’

I took a deep breath. This was what I had thought would happen when I signed up to work the hotline: dirty tricks, racial targeting, insufficient and crowded facilities in African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods. Many people, myself included, believe that the 2000 and 2004 US Presidential elections were stolen by the Republicans – there were so many incidences, especially in Democratic districts. But until the end of my shift, there was nothing extraordinary to report.

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About the author

Marian Arkin

Marian Arkin is professor of English at LaGuardia Community College where she is also director of the Writing Center and co-director of the Writing...

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