Report: Houston Poll Worker Spews Blackface Insult at Voter

A white election official made racist remarks to an African-American voter at a polling place Tuesday, The Houston Chronicle reports. Rolanda Anthony said she tried to vote at Iglesia Bautista Libre in north Houston when a poll worker said there was an issue with her address, and she would need to fill out a form before she could vote. Assistant election judge Juanita Barnes reportedly ran over to Anthony and said it was “illegal” for her to try to change her address on election day. The pair then began to argue. “If I were to wear my blackface makeup, maybe you would understand what I’m telling you,” Barnes said, according to Anthony. Anthony wrote on Facebook that she then tried to walk away from Barnes. “After her atrocious statement I walked away, she was relentless she followed me throughout the voting location and got in my face not one but two times finally I had enough and said I’m calling the police,” she wrote. “She had the audacity to say I’m white they’ll arrest you and charge you with a crime not me, haven’t you seen the news.”

Presiding election judge Edith Randle reportedly separated Barnes and Anthony. The Chronicle also reports a poll worker named Pristina Stucky quit in protest over Barnes’ comments. Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Thomas Gilliland told local news station KRTK a “poll worker and a voter were involved in an altercation that was verbal at first, then some sort of physical altercation occurred.” The sheriff’s office also told the station that a “citation for assault by contact” was issued to Barnes for “bumping into a female voter during an argument.”