Voting Was Heavy in Monrovia on Election Day – Photo by Terry Miller
Two Alleged Poll Workers Attempt to Suppress
First Amendment Rights
By Terry Miller
In an otherwise peaceful and busy polling place at Mt. Sierra College, this reporter attempted to document the historic Presidential election day by photographing citizens exercising their constitutional rights.
I was informed by an angry middle aged woman wearing red and a sturdy looking male that I was not allowed to photograph inside the polling place.
Knowing my rights, I informed the couple that, in fact, I had every right to photograph and would respect anyone’s right to privacy.
The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.
The woman , even after I informed her of my rights, attempted to escort me out of the area where two separate districts in Monrovia were sharing one room as a polling place in Mt. Sierra College.
I advised her, once again, of my rights and that if she had any doubts she should call the local police. I repeatedly told her she infringing on the freedom of the press.
About ten minutes passed and two very nice and efficient officers from Monrovia PD arrived as did the very nice Campus Director, Z. Greg Kahwajian. The woman told officers she had proof that yours truly wasn’t allowed to shoot pictures, and went to her brand new Mercedes to find the alleged paperwork that contained the alleged information, which of course she could not produce.
The officers interviewed the woman who was attempting to thwart our efforts to bring you visual news of the election process. The female officer contacted Monrovia’s City Clerk, Alice Atkins, to discuss the matter further, and voila, the free press is still free…at least today.
I asked for the alleged poll worker’s name. She refused to give it to me, as expected.
The officers told me I was legally within my rights and the couple who alleged to be poll workers had no right to stop me. The couple quickly left Mt. Sierra after this incident and sped off in their shiny new Mercedes. I informed the legitimate poll workers what had happened and were very understanding.
I shot my pictures and the rest will be history.