Open Letter from Markeece Young asking the North Carolina Democratic Party to condemn the behavior of Precinct Chairwoman Devereaux
Dear, North Carolina Democratic Party
Yesterday June 7, 2016, while I was volunteering at the polls for the Republican candidates that I supported, something truly disgusting and inexcusable happened.
A woman, Ms. Devereaux, who described herself as a Democratic precinct chair, racially profiled a voter who was walking up to the polling entrance. She said, “You’re a Democrat, here’s a voter guide.” The man replied, “No thank you. I’m a Republican.” She then said “Shame on you!” He replied, “What did you just say?” All of the Republicans who heard this exchange were dumbfounded.
I personally was shocked to hear what she had said and I promptly confronted her and asked her to retract her statement. Her reply to me was, “But he’s Black and we have an amazing President and I can’t believe he would vote against him.” The woman’s behavior both during and subsequent to the incident was outrageous and I have asked the county Democratic Party to ask her to apologize. They informed me that they are ‘looking into it.’
That exchange with a voter was not the only improper incident involving this precinct chair at the polls yesterday. All day long the woman used illegal practices, such as going up to the cars of every Black voter, despite being asked to desist from doing so. This behavior constitutes voter intimidation, which is illegal. I consider her verbally attacking Black Republicans and approaching Black people’s cars nothing short of harassment.
This morning I received a poor excuse for an apology from Ms. Devereaux: “I do apologize. I was angry and should have kept my mouth shut. It was the third black person who was a Republican, a young man. I lost it and said, ‘Shame on you.’ It makes me angry that African Americans do not appreciate having President Obama in the White House and what the Democratic Party has done for them in terms of civil rights.” This is not an apology, this is an attempted justification.
This behavior from a precinct chair is unacceptable. Of greater concern, however, is that the Johnston County Democratic Party has officials who cannot abide the mere thought that there are Black Republicans living and voting in Johnston County.
I call on the Johnston County Democratic Party and/or North Carolina Democratic party to condemn the actions of this precinct chair, make her issue an actual sincere and formal apology, and issue a directive to its field personnel outlining proper and improper conduct at a polling place.