Officials investigating complaints of Obama effigy outside NC voting site

Raleigh News & ObserverNovember 1, 2012 

State election officials are looking into reports that a truck pulled into the parking lot outside an early voting site this morning in Goldsboro towing a trailer displaying effigies of President Barack Obama, Gov. Bev Perdue and other officials, all hanging from nooses.

The contraption, which also showed effigies of a judge and law enforcement officials, was reportedly displayed outside the Wayne County Public Library on Ash Street, a one-stop early voting site. Election workers have little jurisdiction beyond the buffer zone around voting sites.

The truck arrived several hours after early voting started, prompting calls to law enforcement that were forwarded to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. Maj. Tom Effler, an investigator for the Sheriff’s Office, said the reports were referred to the state Board of Elections and that deputies did not respond to the scene.

Rosemary Blizzard, Wayne County elections director, said she also informed the State Board of Elections of the complaints.

Gary Bartlett, state elections director, said his office is still trying to figure out what exactly happened. “It’s intimidation, and it’s uncalled for,” he said of the incident.

Bartlett said he urges poll workers in Wayne County and around the state to report any questionable activities beyond the buffer zones.

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