Dubuque woman claims discrimination at polling place - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque woman claims discrimination at polling place

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A Dubuque woman says she was discriminated against because of her race when she went to her polling place during Tuesday's election.

Odeth Weber says she hears things often about her ethnicity, but was surprised to hear a comment about it there.

"Went up to the desk. The lady behind the desk proceeded to tell me, are you sure you're allowed to vote? And I was a little dumbfounded, and said well, yes, and handed her my ID. Then she said, well, you just look so exotic. And I just couldn't believe she would say that," she said.

Dubuque County Auditor Denise Dolan says she was saddened and surprised to hear about the incident, because they do so much training to avoid incidents like these ones.

"I'm shocked and extremely disappointed. I guess I thought more of my election officials, and that something would happen with someone that we had selected to run our polls," Dolan said.

Despite the bad experience, Weber says it won't keep her from the polls in the future.

"I think it's our civic duty. We have to do, regardless of people's opinions behind the tables are," Weber said.

Dolan also reached out to one of the officials working that particular location, and she replied via email saying, "This exchange sounds entirely false.  I cannot imagine any of us working the Precinct would have used the word "exotic" nor even commenting on any one's appearance."

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