Voter intimidation has been rampant at certain Monroe County polling places. Many area voters are reporting that poll workers, which are mostly local senior citizens, are “forcing” them to have a cookie and a bit of coffee before they are allowed to vote.
“All I wanted to do was take part in my civic duty and I ended up eating two sugar cookies and chatting about my wife’s family for 15 minutes,” said Clyde Goldstein. Clyde said he didn’t even grow up around here, but simply moved to Monroe County after marrying a local gal – a Brinkmann. “This little old lady serving cookies and coffee looked like she would be insulted if I didn't take a cookie or two,” said Goldstein. “I felt obliged to take one even though I wasn’t hungry.”
Goldstein has theorized that the poll workers might have subliminally trying to determine a person’s voting choices. Goldstein said he noticed the cookies were coated in either blue or red icing. The suspicious voter speculated that if you picked up a red cookie the pollsters jotted you down as a Republican, while a blue cookie meant you likely sided with the Democrats. “After the election is over, I can just see those two busy bodies at a quilting bee letting everyone know about who they think voted for which candidate,” said Goldstein.
When questioned, the poll workers at Goldstein’s polling place, sisters Eunice and Florence Matzenscheimer, said they’ve been baking cookies as a treat to the voters since the 1960s. “The cookies are red, white and blue just to be patriotic,” said Eunice. The two did admit to be a little nosey when it came to asking folks about local gossip and the health conditions of their neighbors.
The ladies also pointed out they didn’t force anyone to have a cookie. If the person didn’t want a cookie they were offered summer sausage with crackers and cheese. “It’s just being neighborly to offer folks a bit to eat when they stop in. We were just being friendly,” added Florence.