A poll worker in Houston was fired from her position and given a citation by police Tuesday after allegedly berating a black voter with a racist tirade.
“Maybe if I’d worn my blackface makeup today you could comprehend what I’m saying to you,” Juanita Barnes, who is white, allegedly told Rolanda Anthony, who is black, the Houston Chronicle reported.
After Anthony arrived to vote, a different poll worker told her that there was a problem regarding her address and that she needed to fill out a residency verification form, according to the paper. She asked why the form was necessary, since she said her address in the voter rolls should match the one on her ID and she has been voting in the same precinct for years.
Barnes, an alternate election judge overseeing the polls, went up to Anthony and started shouting, telling her, “It’s illegal for you not to change your address on your driver’s license if you move,” the Chronicle said.
Edith Randle, the presiding election judge, said she confronted Barnes, the publication reported. “You can’t say that,” Randle said and repeatedly told Barnes to get out of Anthony’s way.
“I stepped back, all the way against the wall,” Anthony told the publication. “Juanita comes all the way over there, putting her hands in my face, yelling and screaming at me, telling me she’s the (alternate) election judge and I’m going to do what she says.”
“I was just floored,” Anthony added. “I was, like, what exactly is going on here?”
After Anthony said she would report the incident to the police, Barnes allegedly shoulder-bumped Anthony and told her, “I’m white. Have you seen the news?”
“If you call the police, they’re going to take you to jail and do something to you, because I’m white,” Barnes allegedly added.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office was called, and Barnes was cited for assault by contact, according to ABC 13.