Volunteer election poll watchers from True the Vote, the Houston-based nonpartisan election integrity group, are reporting that Houston’s NAACP chapter has taken over an election polling station.
The full sworn statement of the True the Vote volunteer who claims to have witnessed the event is below:
Precinct: 139 Polling location: Acres Home Multi Service
6719 W. Montgomery Road, Houston, TX 77091 County: Harris
Poll Supervisor: Rose Cochran
Asst. Supervisor: Bernard Guskie
Clerk: Lawrence Simko, Marsha, Franchetta Pines, Dayan Cohen
Offender: NAACP and Sylvester Turner
Date and Times: 11/2/2012 2:25 and 5:25
At 2:25 the NAACP 3 representatives arrived with probably 50 cases of bottled water and began loading them on dollies handing them out to people standing in line. They were talking to them about flying to Ohio to promote Barack Obama. They were stirring the crowd. The crowd was complaining about the lines. It was getting loud. I went to the PJ and let her know that it was not appropriate that they were in the building handing out water. She ignored me. I repeated my statement. She told me that she would handle it. She did nothing. I then went to the AJ and he stood up, walked over to another table and then sat down. I then walked into the waiting room and they were reloading another dolly with more cases of water. The NAACP began hand picking people out of the lines and began moving these people to the front of the line. The people were getting mad and asking why were these people being moved to the front of the line. All of a sudden one of the clerks, Dayan said that someone wanted to speak to me on the phone. It was someone from downtown. I got on the phone and she said she was from downtown and that I needed to stand down that it was ok for the NAACP to be within 100 ft. and they could hand out water. I told her that the NAACP was inside the building, wearing the NAACP clothing and caps and were handing out water and moving people from the lines to the front of the lines. They said, “they are in the building”, let me talk to Dayan. Dayan was told to tell them to turn their clothes inside out. He went to them and instructed them to do that. They told him that they didn’t have to do that and they weren’t going to stop. They didn’t. They moved people to the front of the line for the rest of the evening.
The PJ and AJ never stopped anything. The NAACP basically ran this poll location and the judges did nothing about it.
At 5:25 I was asked to assist to go outside to do a curbside vote. I went outside with clerk Mr. Lee. On our way inside Mr. Lee said, “look, Mr. Sylvester Turner is back”. He was standing 10 ft. outside the door talking to voters. The PJ was standing right inside the door talking to the NAACP people. I walked up to her and said, “I want you to know that Mr. Turner is back and is outside talking to voters”. She said nothing. I also went to the AJ and noticed him. He did nothing. Five minutes later the PJ came up to me and said that the voters are complaining that when I do curb side that they said that I am watching what they are voting and that I may be asked to leave. I told her that there is no way that I can see what they are voting since I am standing at the front of their vehicles and it is probably being said because I told you about Mr. Turner. If she would like to speak with Mr. Lee about where I stand, that would be one. Five minutes later, The PJ came to me and said that Mr. Turner would like for me to come outside, he would like to speak to me. I looked at her and said, “Ms. Rose, I am a poll watcher, that is the most ridiculous request I have ever heard”. I turned and walked away.
I certify and affirm that the above information is true and correct.