Polling worker questions my family on religion right before I vote

Today I wrote the following letter to the Board of Elections in my county. This is a slightly edited version that takes out a few personal details. I will post an update when (or if) I get a response.

Dear Election Commissioners:

I went to vote yesterday. My daughter was with me. She is 10 years old.

Inside the polling place, two men were sitting behind a table. One of the men looked up my name. The other man, who looked to be in his late sixties or early seventies, looked at my daughter and grinned.

"Do you go to Sunday school?" he asked her.
"No," I interjected and frowned.

The man ignored me and asked my daughter, "How many-- uh-- animals did-- uh-- Moses have on the-- uh-- on the arc?"

My daughter gave me a distressed look. My frown deepened. The man glanced up at me, grinned at my daughter again, and said no more.

The other man handed me my ballot sheet and I walked away from the table. I took several steps and turned to see my daughter had not followed me. She was standing very still and looking nervously at the man behind the table.

I called to her but she didn't move or even look at me. I called a second time but she remained frozen. The third time I called, she marched over, stood next to me, and kept her back to the man at the table.

I voted and we left. Outside, my daughter spoke first. "Dad," she said, laughing nervously, "that guy was totally scary and creepy!" 

My daughter was right. The man's demeanor and expressions were creepy. Personal questions from strangers about my family's religious education and Biblical knowledge are socially awkward in any setting. But for an election worker, it's not only inappropriate, it's illegal. This man should not be testing for religion at the ballot box.

Please take appropriate steps to ensure this never happens again to any voter in this county.

R. Gallup

Views: 78

Comment by Dr.Grixis on November 8, 2012 at 1:22pm

Keep your religion to yourself, especially in a public office. Some people don't even know on what principles their country was founded.

Comment by Umbra on November 9, 2012 at 5:43am

Disturbing to say the very least.

I hope this has been taken care of. A one religion approach has no place in a multicultural society. I'd expect to see this in countries the likes of Iran.

An explanation I may offer and have observed with Christians myself is that the person questioning felt that they were superior to you because they had knowledge of the bible where as you did not. Ergo, you will burn in hell and they can leer at you you all they want. 

Comment by Kir Komrik on November 9, 2012 at 5:53am

I would have probably been spending the night in jail - kk

Comment by Kir Komrik on November 9, 2012 at 5:55am

Do you mind saying what state this was in? - kk

Comment by Gallup's Mirror on November 9, 2012 at 2:28pm


This happened in New York State.
I've not heard anything back from the Commissioner's Office.


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