Odd Voting District Separation for Local Hispanic Man & Caucasian Wife

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Photo: Jonathan Welch/123RF

Dennis Rodriguez and Meredith Kennedy live in a house on Hills Station Road in Southampton and have been married for more than 20 years. They have kids. It’s a happy family. And yet, it is important to note that Rodriguez and Kennedy do not live in different parts of their house.

Why is this important? Because somebody, somewhere, has registered them in two different districts in Southampton. They are American citizens. They vote. Somehow, using this same address, Dennis was assigned to vote in District 15 and Meredith in District 27. They went together to the polling place, in the old days at the old Parrish Art Museum and more recently at the Southampton Cultural Center, and they got separated. He goes to one booth, she goes to another.

You wouldn’t think this would matter that much, but the difference has also spread to package delivery. With the U.S. Postal Service, Rodriguez has to go to the post office and identify himself before a package is given to him. If the package is for his wife, they leave it on the doorstep.

Dennis thinks he has the explanation.

“My wife is Caucasian, the granddaughter of William Merritt Chase,” he says. “I’m Puerto Rican, a Hispanic from the Bronx.”

Dennis first noticed the problem when they lived in Queens. They’ve lived in Southampton for 17 years. But they lived in Flushing for six years before that.

“At our apartment, there was a big cupboard outside for packages that were too large for the mailbox. My wife would order shoes or books and the package would get put into the bin by USPS. If I got a box of something, I’d get a message that it was being held at the post office for me to come down and get.” Is the State trying to tell him something?

Last week, Meredith bought something and it was delivered by UPS to Southampton and placed at the front door. The next day Dennis received a notice that the new antenna for his car was ready to be picked up at the post office. Come on down.

Can anyone explain this?

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