Home / America / North Carolina Poll Workers Forced Brown-Skinned Couple To Take A ‘Spelling Test’ Before Allowing Them To Vote
Photo Credit: The News & Observer
Photo Credit: The News & Observer

North Carolina Poll Workers Forced Brown-Skinned Couple To Take A ‘Spelling Test’ Before Allowing Them To Vote

Rudy Ravindra, a resident of Wilmington, North Carolina has penned an op-ed piece in the Raleigh News and Observer graphically detailing his experience of racial profiling in the North Carolina primaries.

“I gave my driver’s license to a poll worker, HW,” writes Ravindra. “He kept it face down and ordered me to spell my name. Although I go by Rudy, my legal name is Rudravajhala. In order to save time, I requested HW look at my ID. He barked, ‘You gotta spell it!’ So I took a deep breath and began. ‘R-U-D'”

The scene was eerily reminiscent of the vaunted literacy tests throughout the South during the Jim Crow Era, one of many shameful tactics used to deny minorities the right to vote. Ravindra described it as a “spelling test.”

This farce went on a for a while, and each time he made a mistake, I patiently corrected. Meanwhile, voters in adjacent lines came and went briskly. I heaved a sigh of relief when HW finally entered my mouthful of a name into his computer and peered at the monitor. And then I had to pronounce it, and when he tried, he couldn’t get it right.”

Finally — and after also being asked for his address — Ravindra was able to vote. He was tempted to tell the poll worker off — but was worried that if he did, they “might summon the police to haul me off.”

After being able to vote, Ravindra then took his wife to the polls on Election Day, at a different location with different poll workers. Sadly, his wife experienced the same treatment he received.

“Keeping her face down he asked her to spell her name and pronounce it.”

Just as before, white voters around them were able to pass through and cast their vote uninhibited.

Our two Caucasian friends who live in different areas of town voted at different polling places. In contrast to our humiliating experience, however, they did not have to pass the spelling test and after a cursory glance at their IDs were allowed to vote.

My wife and I couldn’t help but feel that we were singled out. The poll workers could have simply looked at our IDs and saved a lot of time. That in a sea of white faces at both polling stations my wife and I were the only brown-skinned individuals also led us to suspect that we were victims of racial prejudice. In these days of Trumpism and shameless xenophobia and other assorted phobias, we can’t be blamed if we are paranoid.

About Adam Ciminello

Entrepreneurship, Social Justice, and the idea of Bono never performing again are all things that excite me. And yes, my grandma is cooler than yours. Say hi sometime on twitter @Aciminello

Check Also

Bernie Sanders rally in Houston, TX. 

Credit: Chron.com

Things I Want To Say To Sanders Supporters Now That He’s Lost (And Yes, He Has Lost)

Confessions from a political junkie equally ambivalent to both candidates.   At the moment I was …


  1. I went for a unique present and learned this portray that lighting within just the dark.

    Its somekind of doual-view painting. I can perspective it all through the day, still as soon as is dark within just the space, the portray
    is nevertheless apparent.
    Is this some sort of alien technology/ or is simply some special wall art?

    However, i resolved towards obtain it as a reward, nonetheless in direction of purchase some for myself also :).

    I believe that in make any difference of items, this would be the greatest.
    Do you seem the very same?

  2. It’s also something that I require in my store (I often use my belt sander secured upside-down as a tiny tabletop belt sander
    but this is terrific for right angles).

  3. After our fundamental programs, we have a whole series of
    advanced task training courses, such as dovetailed blanket breasts as well as hand-carved
    shaking chairs, that will aid you hone your woodworking abilities.

  4. These are all signs of structure distress,
    which could need a structure repair.

  5. Requesting your cost-free assessment takes 60 seconds, and you can download your Free Home owner’s Overview of Foundation Repair work right away!