A Memphis, Tennessee election worker was sacked Monday after turning down early voters who wore the "Black Lives Matter" and "I Can't Breathe" shirts.
Shelby County's Electoral Commission spokeswoman Suzanne Thompson said the worker was laid off Friday after officials received a call from a witness at the Dave Wells Community Center in Memphis. State law prohibits voters from wearing clothing with the name of a candidate or political party at a polling station. However, it doesn't prohibit political statements like Black Lives Matter.
The number of voters wearing Black Lives Matter clothing who were turned away by election officials is unknown, but Thompson said few people were there. Thompson added that the worker believed the clothing was linked to the Democratic Party.
"What he did was obviously wrong and he was fired," Thompson told the Commercial Appeal.
A second election worker at the location announced the next day. The two pollers were friends and drove to the polling station together on the two days they worked, according to Thompson.
Election workers in Tennessee are required by law to complete training before becoming an election worker. The details of the training are not clear, but according to election manager Linda Phillips, the worker received instructions on what to do more than once and did not follow them.
“He received very clear instructions. The next day, he received clear instructions and again ignored them. So he got fired, ”said Phillips.
Black Americans push others to vote through a myriad of campaigns, including television, radio, and social media commercials and events. More than 40 civil rights organizations, including the National Urban League, NAACP, Black Lives Matter, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, attended the first National Black Voter Day to encourage black voters to sign and develop a voting plan for this year's election help.
In August, NBA superstar LeBron James announced an initiative to recruit election workers in black constituencies. The initiative got 20,000 volunteers to sign up for work on election day
This year's election will be different than before, with an already controversial election for Democrats and Republicans at stake. In less than a month before election day, there will be court proceedings across the country for postal and postal votes. Donald Trump supporters have also been accused of protesting outside polling stations in an attempt to intimidate and scare voters.