PHOTO via Todd B. Waldo
1.5 hour wait at Fairmount Place, we got there at 8:30, and the line was the same when we left at 10. Indoors, though, so that’s nice.
I just voted at this location and while standing in line talking to another fellow teacher a man injected himself into our conversation and told me white people are ruining Church Hill, that the neighborhood used to be 99% black and we are ruining it, that there is a conspiracy, that he has to speak for all the felons not allowed to vote, etc. It was very uncomfortable and I almost left which may have been his intention. He would not leave us alone. At one point I did say thank you. I had heard him and that I wanted to go back to talking with my friend. In the end I don’t think he was allowed to vote because he wasn’t in line after his information was checked. This was very intimidating and upsetting to me. My friend and I had been discussing routine teacher stuff like grading, the Praxis test, etc. so I don’t think our conversation set him off. Has anyone else had this problem and what can be done next time?
Thanks to all the folks working the polls at the 707th Precinct (EDI Bldg.) You guys are doing a great job getting folks in/out quickly.
#2 urbanpioneer, that sounds horrible. You should complain to the folks who work the polls if it happens in the future (if your friend who was with you could save your place in line, it would be easier than waiting until you got to the head of the line). (If your friend is not there next time, make friends with someone in line to save your space). You shouldn’t feel intimidated at the polls, ever. Also, it’s my understanding that there were to be lawyers and others observing today – another person to complain to. Four years ago I complained to one of the lawyers who was observing at 707, because one of McQuinn’s grown children was working the crowded line and it was making me uncomfortable. There are laws about how close to the polling place doors you can be and still hand out literature or try to influence the election.
I doubt your conversation set him off, is it possible he was drunk or had mental problems? Or maybe he was just a nasty person to begin with and happened to pick on you and your friend just because you were there. Interestingly, NPR just ran a story on behavior at the polls.
Unfortunately there are still people with that mentality around in Church Hill. All you have to do is search newspaper articles going back to the 1980s when Church Hill North made news with black opposing the gentrification of the neighborhood. In more recent years I overheard a resident on our block at the time (since passed on) make basically the same kind of statements and buildings he owned up for sale were not going to be purchased by “whites”.
And there is some of that even at City Hall rather they want to admit it or not which hurts the preservation aspects.
FYI they are ticketing people for parking in front of voting station 707. There is a single no parking sign, but it is blocked by the other 20 people parked illegally, so I did not see it. Typical City of Richmond idiocy, biggest election in memorable history, you think you might want to think about the parking required. My ticket was for parking in a street sweeping area, are they seriously going to sweep the streets during voting? I doubt it. My two 911 calls this month about fist fights in the street where a kid was just murdered have both gone with zero police response, but I park in no parking for 15 minutes trying to vote and I’m ticketed immediately. What a shitty city to live in.
@6 – did you vote for the same clowns that gave us this mess again today? If so, hopefully you realize the irony in your complaining about it.
Bret, I’d call the first precinct and complain big time about that ticket. And go take a picture of the sole no parking sign and all that’s around it now while there is still daylight. Then you can send it to Channel 12 on your side and get a little noise out there about it. Seriously!
@2–you should have ignored him, given him a humongous eyeroll or told him “hi, you’re not part of the conversation.” People can only make you feel uncomfortable if YOU LET THEM.
@6–why didn’t you park in the retirement home parking lot? I parked there this morning, no problem. Did they close that off? Or are you just looking for another excuse to move again?
@6 check this out – http://www.nbc12.com/story/20021767/12-investigates-how-to-fight-a-bogus-parking-ticket
Relax…urban pioneer, crd, Bret and Trish…relax!
Someone offended you in line…don’t take things so seriously. Don’t be a tattle tale to the city, no one cares!
I voted at the train station and the situation there was grim as far as election laws go. Two people were wearing campaign stickers inside the polling place. Not 1 or2 but many and election officials refused to ask them to remove them. I spoke with one official and then the chief official , she said she didn’t think that was a law anymore and then tried to find something wrong with my registration. I’ m going to file a complaint with the Board of Elections. Clearly, the election officials need better training. The polling place had hundreds of people in line and were only using 4 of the 10 voting machines that were there. And yes, I know just how tough a job it is to be an official having done it many times myself.
Everyone at the precinct when I was in line was very respectful and I don’t think I heard anyone talking politics. The only issue was one of the people working there confused the Voting Precinct number and the address, so she made an announcement that if your voter card has 701 on it anywhere, you need to leave because you are at voting precinct 707, well everyone’s voter card had 701 on it because 701 N 25th happens to be the address for precinct 707. A bunch of people left and I am sure they were all in fact at the right place, I just hope they figured it out before they had to wait over an hour to just be sent right back.
@12 – Surprisingly, it appears that it is legal. Section 24.2-604 K of state law sounds as if as long as that person is there just to vote, it should be ok for them to wear. The law still prohibits folks who aren’t in the process of voting from wearing such items.
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