Ex- GOP lawmaker charged with assaulting poll worker

“He was on one side, and I said, ‘Well, I’ll just go around you,’” Pendleton said. “So I went around, he jumped over in front of me about 3 feet (away) mouth to mouth. I pushed him back because I don’t want to get COVID-19.” Gary Sims, Wake County’s elections director, and Pat Gannon, a spokesman for the State Board of Elections, confirmed the incident had taken place. Sims said poll workers should never be faced with violence. “Nobody comes to work expecting to be assaulted,” Sims said. Law enforcement arrived after the polls opened and cited Pendleton with the Class 3 misdemeanor. He then left the early voting site. Pendleton said the officers who cited him compared his violation to “hunting without a hunting license.” The Wake County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the incident. Pendleton will not be permitted to serve as a poll observer for the rest of this election cycle, Gannon said. He plans to appeal the assault charge in court. The North Carolina Republican Party condemned Pendleton’s actions and expressed apologies on his behalf.

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