An Indiana election office reportedly ejected a Democrat poll worker over allegations that he had pressured poll-goers against voting for certain candidates and even pre-selected Democrats on voting machines last week, according to the Hamilton County Republican Party.
The alleged incident took place at a polling place in Carmel, Indiana, under the Hamilton County Election Office. Hamilton County Election administrator Beth Sheller identified the poll worker to local media as James Zheng, saying that voters had reported two separate incidents that may constitute electioneering and election interference, county GOP chairman Mario Massillamany told Fox News Digital. Zheng’s removal, first reported by Chalkboard Review executive director Tony Kinnett, is now reportedly being investigated by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, and Sheller says she hopes to see Zheng prosecuted.
The first incident took place early Thursday evening as a group of education activists stood outside the Carmel polling place and advocated for pro-parent school board candidates. Officials say Zheng spoke with several black voters who entered the polling station and urged them not to vote for the pro-parent candidates, arguing that the activists outside were “racist.” Massillamany says Zheng encouraged the voters to instead cast their ballots for Democrats.
An inspector at the polling station soon learned of the incident and contacted Sheller, who started making her way toward the polling station, Massillamany said.
Prior to her arrival, the inspector learned of additional incidents of potential election interference from voters. Massillamany said Zheng had repeatedly selected Democratic candidates down the entire ballot on voting machines while ostensibly assisting people with casting their ballots. Several people reportedly complained that they did not know how to change the selections back after Zheng pre-selected the Democratic candidates.
Massillamany argued the incident raised questions about how many voters had been confused after receiving “help” from Zheng but had not complained to other officials.
Sheller and the polling inspector had Zheng removed, and Sheller announced Friday that he would not be allowed back to the polling station on Election Day. She also called for his prosecution in a statement to Chalkboard.
Sheller and the Hamilton County Election Office did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Fox News Digital.
Massillamany condemned the incident in a Saturday statement.
“This should serve as a cautionary reminder that those desperate to hold onto power or gain power will do anything–including breaking the law–to thwart the efforts of parents and taxpayers to replace our school boards with officials who more accurately reflect the values of our community,” he said.
“If you see something suspicious, please report such activity immediately to a poll worker or other election official immediately,” he added.
The incident comes days before midterm elections in which Republicans are expected to make big gains nationally. Officials across the country are seeking to crack down on voter intimidation at polling places on Election Day.
A federal judge ordered a group of armed members of Clean Elections USA to stand at least 250 feet away from certain polling places in Arizona last week after voters claimed the guns and masks were intimidating.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Liburdi also said they could not film, speak to or yell at voters or come within 75 feet of any ballot box drop or entrance to a building that houses one.
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.