May 26, 2022

An election judge was just stirred controversy with a “blackface” comment towards Black voter

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In an ideal world, voting would be simple and stress-free, but in real life that’s hardly the case. Today’s crucial midterm elections have been hampered by blatant voter suppression efforts, problems with voting machines, and actual voter intimidation.


However, one of the worst incidents at the polls today took place in north Houston when a white election official started an altercation with an African-American voter over an issue with her address on her registration record and lambasted the voter with a racial epithet in the process.

Voter Rolanda Anthony was attempting to cast a ballot at the Iglesia Bautista Libre polling station when a poll worker told her that an issue with her address would require her to fill out a form before she could vote, according to a story on The Daily Beast.

Upon overhearing the conversation, Assistant election judge Juanita Barnes ran over to intervene claiming that it was “illegal” to file an address change on election day. Usually, this type of matter would be settled by the issuing of a provisional ballot to ensure that the voter at least has the chance to have their choices be counted in the election once the underlying registration questions are resolved.

Instead, an argument ensued, one that escalated to the point that the assistant election judge displayed her inner-racist by blurting out “If I were to wear my blackface makeup, maybe you would understand what I’m telling you” to the African-American voter.

Rolanda Anthony told her side of the story in a post on Facebook.

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Before police arrived, the presiding chief election judge Edith Randle was forced to separate the two women, and a poll worker resigned on the spot to protest Barnes’ racist remarks.

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A spokesperson for the Harris County Sheriff’s department described what they concluded upon arriving at the polling place.

“A poll worker and a voter were involved in an altercation that was verbal at first, then some sort of physical altercation occurred,” said sheriff’s office spokesperson Thomas Gilliland.

The sheriff’s office issued a citation for assault to Barnes, the assistant election judge, who is accused of bumping into a female voter during the course of the argument.

Of course, without President Trump and the Republican party making fake claims about non-existent voter fraud instead of making sure that every American citizen gets to exercise their right to vote, this type of incident would probably never have happened and Ms. Barnes would be keeping her racism bottled tight up inside herself where it could fester without affecting innocent people doing their civic duty.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by KTRK-TV.

Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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