SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – A poll worker is accused of refusing to let a military vet vote in Lake Forest.
Former Army veteran John Reader says an older man with a beard and a Hawaiian shirt told him a flag on his t-shirt was a “symbol of hatred” and was prohibited in a polling place.
“I was standing here waiting to vote, and a gentleman…said this flag was an item of protest and symbol of hatred,” Reader said. “I clearly explained it was an American flag, he said it’s not in color, I was not allowed to wear it.
“He wouldn’t let me vote unless I turned my shirt inside out, which I refused to do,” added Reader.
Witnesses say the man – only identified as “Bill” – accused Reader of supporting President Donald Trump.
Connie Hernandez was among those who saw the incident.
“I thought it was disgusting, quite frankly,” she said. “There were many members who were upset, they expressed their anger to me, they expressed their anger on the way out, took picture’s of John’s shirt.”
After the county registrar was contacted, Reader was finally allowed to vote, but only after about a 90-minute delay.
Officials say the volunteer poll worker will be retrained if he chooses to work in future elections.