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BREAKING: Allegations of Voter Suppression Swirl in District 4

Thursday, September 06, 2012


City Councilor Sarai Rivera was up in arms after witnessing alleged voter suppression at the polls in District 4 during Thursday's state primary election.

According to Rivera and several other witnesses, a woman acting as a poll monitor at 50 Murray Avenue in Precinct 10-3 turned away voters who did not present identification and attempted to photograph the IDs of others.

Massachusetts state law does not require voters to present identification to vote in elections.

"I cannot have people coming and intimidating the voters in my district," Rivera said.

Rivera and Jose Ramos, president of the Murray Avenue Apartments Association, reported witnessing four voters get turned away from the ballot box for not providing identification on Thursday afternoon, rendering them unable to cast their votes.

"She was telling people they couldn't vote," Ramos said.

Another two voters were initially turned away, but Rivera intervened and they were able to get their votes in.

At one point, the individual attempted to stop Rivera from assisting a voter after he had asked for her help.

When Rivera began speaking to the voter in Spanish, she said the individual took out her cell phone and began recording the conversation, before proceeding to attempt to photograph the voter's ID.

Rivera reported the incident to the police, and when officers arrived they asked the individual to put her phone in her car.

The individual refused to do so, and she was escorted out of the polling location by police.

According to Rivera and Ramos, the Assistant City Clerk visited 50 Murray Avenue Thursday morning after another individual was observed engaging in similar behavior.

The City Clerk's Office did not immediately return a call for comment.

"I'm really proud of my residents," said Rivera.

"Our vote is our voice, and we need to be heard." 


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Stephen Quist

Out of town extremist tea-partiers is absolutely unacceptable.
To alienate and restrict voters rights because they speak a different language is un-American and to accost them and intimidate them reeks of facism.
Bonnie Johnson the out of towner and her ignorant lawyer should be banned from Worcesters polling places from here on out.

Harvey Beehive

Ms. Rivera: You cannot have people coming in to YOUR district? District 4 belongs to the people, not you. I think there's more to this story than what meets the eye. Perhaps a set up or were they 99-percenters?

Stephen Quist

the bonnie johnson teapartiers of the woorld are about as un-American as you can get.
It is inexcusable for ANYONE to attempt to intimidate a registered voter attempting to vote.
There is no excuse for the aboherrent behaviour exhibited by the teapartiers/attorneys accosting voters within the polling stations,
harangueing and harrassing poll workers and and voters.
Worcester will not tolerate those that would like to dissolve our voting rights.
but the extremist teapartiers have yet to see the backlash coming.......and it is coming!

Christopher Horton

The fundamental American principle of One Person, One Vote, was established in struggle, in a Revolutionary War and Civil War (led by Republicans), the great Sufferage Movement and Civil Rights Movement, and endorsed and sealed in legislation and amendments supported by Republicans and Democrats alike.

There is a great and coordinated wave of voter suppression activity building across this land since 2000. In many states it is out of control. We need to nip it in the bud here in Massachusetts. Our local Republican Party has a duty to speak out against it, repudiate it and join with the rest of us in saying No, it will not be allowed here! No, we will not go back to the days when only the "right sort of people" were allowed to vote!

Padraig Harvey

One Vote, One ID.

Stephen Quist

But Chris it is your republicANT party and their fellow extremists that are leading the charge to disenfranchise voters, intimidate voters and suppression of the vote right here in our city.......Nationally every roadblock put up to restrict access to polls and take away the rights to vote have been introduced by republiCant legislators across this great country........

Christopher Horton

Stephen, let it stop here in Worcester! I'm challenging our local Republicans to stand by their neighbors and fellow Worcesterites and join us in defending the right of every American citizen to vote without harassment, intimidation or suspicion of fraud based on their language, accent or appearance.

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