An Indian American woman in Texas is claiming a volunteer poll worker messed up her vote.
Shreya Gulamali Oct. 25 was trying to go into a voting booth with her mother, whose first language is Gujarati, and help her interpret the ballot when the poll worker in Fort Bend County denied her from the booth, according to a Houston Press report.
By law, as part of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance because of visual impairments, disabilities or literacy skills can be helped in casting a ballot by the person of their choice, as long as it's not their employer or a union leader.
Gulamali’s mother, Chetna Shukla, was attempting to vote for just the second time since she became a U.S. citizen in 1992, the Houston Press reported.
According to the report, Gulamali said her mother was nervous about voting and when they got to the front of the line Gulamali told the volunteer she needed to help her mother translate. The volunteer said she would assist Shukla and did not let Gulamali in, the report added.
“When my mother came out with (the volunteer) I asked, ‘Did she vote for her two people she wanted to?’” Gulamali recalled in the Press report.
The volunteer replied that Shukla picked the straight Democratic ticket despite Gulamali’s mother never having selected any party, it added.
It wasn’t until after that Gulamali learned she was able to assist.
“I regret not putting my foot down about helping my mother, but I had assumed the poll worker would pick whoever my mom wanted to vote for,” Gulamali told the Houston Press.
Fort Bend County elections administrator John Oldham said the poll worker has volunteered for a long time with no previous complaints, although adding he would investigate the incident, the Press wrote.