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Jones Co. Woman Denied Help Reading Her Ballot | News

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Jones Co. Woman Denied Help Reading Her Ballot
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Mary Ann Brooks wore her "I'm a Georgia Voter" sticker, but at the polls Tuesday, she says her rights were taken away.

Brooks has trouble reading and writing, and brought her son, Jim Middlebrooks, his wife, Rosa, and her sister Willie Mae Goolsby to their polling place at a Jones County fire station.

According to Georgia law, "a voter may receive assistance at the polls if they are unable to read the English language." It also says they can select anyone they want to assist them, as long as they sign an oath.

But when her son, Jim, offered to help her read the ballot, he was told by the poll worker that he could not help.

Poll worker Charlie Mayhue says he did not allow Jim to help his mother and aunt, because they had already signed their name and address when they checked in, and in his opinion could have read the ballot.

But while they say they can read and write enough to sign their name, they could not read the ballot. Willie Mae eventually figured out the ballot, but struggled to do so, while Mary Ann could not read it at all, and was forced to cast random votes. 

"It is disenfranchment," her son said.

Marion Hatton, the Jones County elections supervisor, who told 13WMAZ she had spoken with the poll worker who said he thought they voted with no problems, but said she is still looking into the matter.

Brooks says she intended to vote for President Obama, but is not sure if she actually cast the ballot correctly. 

So instead, she says, she'll just have to pray. "I just hope and pray that I got the right one, hope."

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