Activist Rosaura Torres claims discrimination at voting center
After almost four decades of showing up to the polls, Latina activist and author Rosaura Torres spoke to AL DÍA about a very different election day.
Torres went to vote at the Tacony Academy Charter School in the Fox Chase Area, — which she described as a “predominantly white neighborhood." According to her, a woman named Betty Scynn, a judge of elections at the polling place, refused her the right to vote for around 10 minutes.
“She didn’t look too happy when I told her my name, but then again most people don’t look too happy here in Philadelphia,” said Torres. “The lady next to her found me in the book of voter registration, but Ms. Scynn wouldn’t let me vote”.
Representatives from the polling center, to which she had recently moved— asked to review Torres’ ID —as required by state law for first-time voters in a specific polling place— in order to confirm her identity. Torres stated she had no problem with the requirement, but was baffled at why she was refused the right to vote even after showing her Pennsylvania State ID.
Torres believes the incident happened on account of her Latino ethnicity. “I really believe that because I’m a Latina she did not want me to vote.”
“What’s going to happen if another Latino goes to vote and, in spite of being registered and showing their ID, they are given the same treatment? That’s my main concern in all of this,” she said.
City Commissioner Al Schmidt reached out to AL DÍA News to comment on the subject. "Election Board Workers should treat everyone at every polling place with the utmost respect."
Torres mentioned her intention to lodge an official complaint before the District Attorney’s Office.
Editor’s note: Rosaura Torres is not related to the author of this article.
This article was edited on April 26th, 2016, at 3:49 p. m. to include City Commissioner Al Schmidt's statement and correct factual errors.