The poll watcher who said individuals in NAACP T-shirts took over a Houston polling site told TheBlaze Sunday that the “ringleader” of the group was also accused of touching an electronic voting machine that a voter was using.
Eve Rockford said the woman in the NAACP attire first screamed at the poll supervisor and demanded that a clerk be removed during the Friday incident.
“She starts screaming at [poll supervisor Rose Cochran] and she says ‘get this clerk out of here, get him out of here I’ve had enough of him,” Rockford, 51, told TheBlaze. “He starts calmly, using his voice, ‘she’s touching the machines, she’s touching the machines, she’s not acting appropriately, she’s touching the machines.’”
Rockford said Cochran did nothing about the outburst and that another poll watcher came up and asked the woman for her name. The woman demanded to know the poll watcher’s name instead and after a few moments left the voting machine area and went and sat down.
Rockford said the woman had been escorting voters up to the machines to vote, but said she didn’t actually see herself whether the woman had touched a machine.
“It was like she was moving these people to the machines, you have to go up and put your finger on it and dial the machine,” Rockford said. “[The clerk] was trying to say she was getting too close to the machine…that she was actually helping them cast their ballot.”
A representative from the NAACP’s Houston branch could not be reached for comment Sunday.
As TheBlaze previously reported, Rockford said the three people wearing NAACP attire showed up at the polling site and were handing out water to people in line, then “stirred up the crowd” and mentioned flying people out to Ohio to promote President Barack Obama.
“The NAACP basically ran this poll location and the judges did nothing about it,” Rockford said in her report of the incident.
Assistant Harris County Attorney Douglas Ray told the Houston Chronicle that Rockford’s account was wrong.
“It wasn’t like they were taking control of the place. It wasn’t like we did nothing about it. That’s just not true at all,” Ray told the newspaper. “What the NAACP people were doing was trying to identify people with disabilities and move them to the front of line so they could vote right away out of turn. … Our folks were basically saying, ‘We’re not working it that way.’ The activists became very confrontational. We had to calm them down and explain how the thing was supposed to work.”
Rockford was volunteering as a poll watcher on behalf of judicial candidate Don Self but was trained by True the Vote, a nonpartisan election integrity group. True the Vote spokesman Logan Churchwell told TheBlaze that poll watchers like Rockford are crucial in exposing potential fraud and that the incident has been reported to Harris County officials.
“None of this would have made news of any kind had we not had poll watchers in the first place,” Churchwell said. “This is exactly what they’re there for.”