New York

The Velvet Rope


Eagle-Eye Nick tells me about his experience voting a quarter-mile from the old LTV Steel plant in Slavic Village, a neighborhood full of blue-collar Democratic voters. He’s met at the entrance to the polling place, empty after the morning rush. “He was the very first person when I walked through the doorway. He essentially made a statement to me asking me to clarify if I was in the right place. He looked official: he was standing there, he wasn’t voting. He was proactive in his interaction with me.”

Nick assumed he was a poll worker. He showed him his voter ID card (which he had brought, because he had recently moved, and didn’t want any trouble), and was pointed in the right direction.

“So I get my ballot, and I ask, ‘do you have any challengers in here,’ and they point at that guy!”

The guy he thought was there to help him was actually the Republican equivalent of a bouncer.

“The bottom line is that if I had not been who I am, and absolutely confident of my right to vote, he might have been able to turn me around.”

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