Election Worker Fired for Turning Away Voters Wearing BLM Apparel
The state had provided specific training to the contrary.
As Americans head to the polls in increasingly enormous numbers for early voting, there are some fears still that the election itself could be affected by bad actors – both foreign and domestic.
President Trump has increased some of these fear by consistently railing against mail-in balloting, claiming that the process could be easily exploited by foreign governments or domestic ne’er-do-wells.
And then there are concerns that poll workers themselves may take matters into their own hands, as the political rhetoric in the United States turns putrid with partisanship.
This may very well have been the case in Tennessee this week.
A Tennessee poll worker was fired on Friday after allegedly turning away voters who were wearing clothing related to the Black Lives Matter movement, according to officials.
The worker was let go after a witness at the Dave Wells Community Center in North Memphis, Tenn., reported the incident to officials, according to Suzanne Thompson, a spokesperson for the Shelby County Election Commission.
Thompson said officials were told by an operations manager that the message on the clothing was “Black Lives Matter,” while State Rep. Antonio Parkinson said on his Facebook page that shirts or masks read, “I Can’t Breathe,” reports said.
The issue occurred after the poll worker was specifically trained differently.
While Tennessee law doesn’t allow voters at the polls to wear items with showcase the name of a candidate or political party, Thompson said the policy wouldn’t have applied because Black Lives Matter is not political, Memphis’s WREG-TV reported.
“He was given very clear instructions. He was given clear instructions the next day, and again didn’t pay attention to them. So he was terminated,” said Elections Administrator Linda Phillips, according to the station.
Election officials were quick to point out that the amount of people who were turned away was very slight.
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