Fox News reported that an Indiana election office ejected a Democrat poll worker last week for allegedly intimidating voters against voting for certain candidates and even preselecting Democratic candidates on a voting machine.
An incident occurred at a polling place in Carmel, Indiana, run by Hamilton County Elections. In an interview with Fox News Digital, Hamilton County election administrator Beth Sheller declined to confirm the identity of the poll worker, but gave a detailed report of the inspector’s findings.
In his report, Sheller said that the inspector was aware of two separate incidents that may have included electioneering and election interference. According to Sheller, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the poll worker, first identified by Chalkboard Review executive director Tony Kinnett as James Zheng.
A group of education activists advocated for pro-parent school board candidates outside the Carmel polling place in the first incident on Thursday evening. A worker at the polling station told a pair of black voters not to vote for the pro-parent candidates, arguing that the activists outside were “racist.”
In response, the pair cast their votes and informed the activists outside what the poll worker had said. The activists, which included a candidate’s campaign worker, then raised the issue with the workers inside.
The inspector then learned of a second incident, this one involving potential election interference. Sheller said the poll worker was assisting a voter with an electronic ballot when he pressed the “straight Democrat ticket” button. Following this, the voter became confused about how to change the selection and sought the assistance of another poll worker nearby. Sheller said the worker resolved the issue, allowing the voter to cast a legitimate ballot, and then informed the polling inspector.
The Hamilton County Republican Party chairman Mario Massillamany questioned how many voters had been confused after receiving help from Zheng but had not complained to other officials.
According to Sheller, other instances of wrongdoing would have been reported to poll workers if they had occurred.
Sheller and the polling inspector had Zheng removed, and Sheller announced Friday that he wouldn’t return to the polling station. She told Fox News Digital she hopes for his prosecution. Dayna Colbert, Hamilton County Democrats chair, was contacted by her to provide a replacement poll worker, which she did.
In a statement Saturday, Massillamany condemned the incident.
“This should serve as a cautionary reminder that those desperate to hold onto power or gain power will do anything, including breaking the law, to thwart the efforts of parents and taxpayers to elect school board members who reflect the values of our community,” he said.
“If you see something suspicious, please report such activity immediately to a poll worker or other election official immediately,” he added.
As midterm elections approach, officials across the country are trying to crack down on voter intimidation at polling places.
As a result of voters’ complaints, a federal judge ordered armed members of Clean Elections USA to stand at least 250 feet away from certain polling places in Arizona last week.