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Franklin County poll worker removed amid allegations of voter intimidation

Early voting started on Oct. 17 across North Carolina.
Early voting started on Oct. 17 across North Carolina. News & Observer staff file photo

Election officials in Bunn removed a poll worker from an early voting site Thursday following allegations that she intimidated several African American voters.

The poll worker has been assigned to office duty away from the voting site pending a meeting Tuesday, the NC State Board of Elections confirmed to The News & Observer on Saturday. On Tuesday, voters who filed complaints will speak with members of the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Members of an African American political action committee, Franklin County PAC, accused the poll worker of repeatedly asking about a half dozen African American voters voters to spell their names on Wednesday, the first day of early voting across the state.

The voter complaint comes amid a highly sensitive atmosphere with accusations of voter suppression, fraud and intimidation targeting people of color in a number of states including, Georgia, North Dakota and North Carolina.

The State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement said on Saturday that the agency has been in contact with Lisa Goswick, the Franklin County elections director.

The state agency released a statement to The News & Observer:

“The poll worker in question was taken off of poll duty and is working in the county office until the County Board can meet to discuss the incident. It is our understanding that the County Board will hear from the poll worker involved to get the other side of the story. The board also will hear from several eyewitnesses to the events. Both the State and County Board take these allegations seriously and will continue to gather facts.”

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