DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Greene County Board of Elections removed a poll worker from a polling location on Election Day after the worker made a verbal threat of violence towards a man, all because of a shirt he was wearing.
“She read my shirt out loud as I walked past and I was maybe three to four feet away from her, she said I’m going to stomp on your face,” said Donnie Greene.
Donnie Greene says he wore this shirt that reads ‘Don’t tread on me’ when he was verbally assaulted by a poll worker on Election Day. The Greenes immediately contacted the Board of Elections who then removed the poll worker from the precinct.
“What my husband brought out in her was hatred and it was very evident in the way she spoke to him,” said Cindi Greene.
The Director of Greene County BOE released this statement:
We did have that incident occur. It is not a political statement so it is allowed in the polling locations. The poll worker said some unnecessary comments and when we heard about it, we immediately asked her to leave, she is now on our do not hire list. We do not tolerate that kind of behavior from people that are representing our board. Please send my apologies along to him and his wife. Thank you.Alisha Lampert, Director of Greene County Board of Elections
Wright State University Professor Dr. Lee Hannah says voter intimidation is anything that could prevent another person from voting, including blocking polling places, using threats, name calling at the polls or spreading false information about voting requirements. However, Dr. Hannah believes social media has played a huge role increasing voter intimidation.
“You can start to dehumanize individuals so somebody you can scream at over the screen you’re now screaming at them at a Kroger or polling place,” said Dr. Hannah. “They may think they’re expressing their rights but in fact it’s a felony under Ohio law.”
The Greenes say they thanked the BOE extensively for this swift action, and this experience does not change their minds on voting again in-person.
“Not for me, I’ll be honest with you, it makes me more driven to go to the polls,” said Donnie Greene.
Under Ohio law, voter intimidation is considered a 5th degree felony.