October 22, 2016  

Officials Defend Decision to Let Usher Skip Voting Line

November 9, 2012 (6:15 pm) GMT
The singer was ushered to the back door of the polling station on Election Day to 'minimize and avoid a distraction at the poll'.

was slammed for taking a special treatment as a celebrity on Election Day. The singer was allowed to skip the line at the Bill Johnson Community Center, the polling station near Atlanta, when everybody else had to queue.

Per TV station WSBTV, Usher was taken to the back door of the venue to cast his ballot before anyone else who had been waiting in line. "I take the voting process very seriously, and I was just taken aback that this was allowed to happen," said voter Alan Christian. Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann said only a few people who actually deserve such treatment, such as people with disabilities, the elderly and voters with small children.

Fulton County election officials have defended their action, saying it was an attempt to minimize distraction, and confirming that Usher's team had notified them a day prior. "As a result, Poll Manager Frank Padula was directed to ensure that Mr. Raymond's presence would not become a distraction by taking necessary measures to move Mr. Raymond through the process as expeditiously as possible," the officials said in a statement. "At no point was this decision made for preferential treatment, but to minimize and avoid a distraction at the poll."

Usher was also slammed for taking a picture of himself in the voting booth, which is prohibited by Georgia state law. To this, the officials said that it was not a violation because he had acquired a permission to do so.

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