Woman Says She and Kids Were Turned Away From Polling Place - NBC 7 San Diego

Woman Says She and Kids Were Turned Away From Polling Place

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    SD Woman With Children Turned Away From Polls

    A San Diego woman says she was turned away from the polls because she brought her children with her to vote, and now the complaint is under investigation by the county’s Registrar of Voters. NBC 7’s Dave Summers reports on Nov. 4, 2014. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014)

    A San Diego woman says she was turned away at the polls because she brought her children with her to vote, a complaint which is now under investigation by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

    Voting is every citizen’s right, and in every state in the union, engaging your kids in the process is encouraged, but mother of two Samantha Anderson told NBC 7 that was not the case at her polling station.

    Anderson said she brought her mother and her kids ages 4 and 6 to teach them how important the democratic process is.

    They didn't get past the first poll workers at the Neil Good Day Center. Anderson said she was not permitted inside with her two children.

    Instead of an explanation, Anderson said she was told to call the boss in the morning. The center is a homeless shelter run by the Alpha Project.

    NBC 7 called and left a message at the center, but poll workers told us they could not speak with the media.

    Anderson's voter information guide indicates this is her proper polling station but says nothing about children.

    Rather than leave her kids and their grandmother on the street while she went to vote, the four left without casting a ballot.

    “It's kind of like you are being turned away because you are a woman or because of your race. I didn't like it at all. It's not a good feeling to be turned away because I have children,” Anderson said.

    Assistant County Registrar Cynthia Paes says children are allowed in polling stations and they are even permitted in the voting booths.

    Oftentimes parents use it as a teaching opportunity and the registrar encourages that.

    Paes says this is the first such complaint they have had and they intend to investigate.