Reporter Amy Gardner of the Washington Post and formerly of Raleigh’s News & Observer is reporting that former North Carolina state representative and Wake County commissioner Garry Pendleton was charged with assaulting a poll worker this morning. According to the story, Pendleton was attempting to serve as a Republican poll observer in Wake Forest.
This is from Gardner’s story:
In an interview, Pendleton said he became angry at the polling site’s chief judge after he was told he could not enter the premises until polls opened at 8 a.m. Pendleton said he had been allowed in at a different voting center at 7 a.m. Thursday, the first day of in-person voting in North Carolina.
When the election judge stepped in front of him to block his entry, he said he pushed him away.
“I really got upset about it, and I said, ‘Well, what are you doing up in there that you don’t want us to see?’” Pendleton said.
According to Gardner’s story, Pendleton said that partisan tensions surrounding this year’s hotly contested election may have contributed to the conflict. The story goes on to note, however, that this is no excuse for physical assault:
Gary Sims, Wake County elections director, said partisan tensions are “no excuse” for assaulting a poll worker.
Sims said while it’s true that a Democratic-controlled board appoints poll workers, they include Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters.
Pendleton was charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor, he said, and he is ineligible to serve as a poll watcher for the remainder of the year.
Pendleton represented Wake County in the General Assembly from 2015-2017. He served as a member of the Wake County Board of Commissioners in the 1990’s.
Click here to read the entire Washington Post story.