Friday, November 5, 2010

Ballot or Bullet- A disturbing reality as experienced by my Brother .

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

This morning I went to my neighborhood polling site to vote. Upon arriving at 
the Christ Lutheran Church in Eagan, I took my respective spot in line. As I 
waited in line I heard the normal questions being asked of my voting peers, 
“Does your I.D. match your address of record?” “Are you over the age of 18?” As 
I approached the voting official I was asked the exact same questions as those 
that preceded me, with one additional caveat….. “Do you have any felonies?” As 
an African American male, I was offended. Why was I being asked a question that 
my Caucasian peers were not being asked? After I responded to the election 
official telling her that I had no felonies, her colleague (seated beside her) 
began to laugh. The election official continued on with her talking 
points/instructions which were as follows: “Go to the next table and grab a 
bullet, I mean “ballot”, a Freudian slip perhaps but offensive none the less. As 
I continued on and began to vote, I paid particular attention to the 
instructions that this official gave to the voters after me. Not once did the 
election official ask any other person of European descent about felonies nor 
did she reference picking up “bullets”, or any other projectile that may be used 
to harm another human being.

As I recall the Voting Rights Act of l965 prohibits states from imposing any 
“voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or 
procedure … to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to 
vote on account of race or color.” On this Election Day I am again reminded that 
the myth of equality/sameness in America remains to be just that …a myth.

Respectfully,

Corey Yeager, M.A., LAMFT