MOUNT AIRY, N.C. (WGHP) – In Surry County, where the elections director has been under fire because she won’t give a Republican official illegal access to voting equipment, at least three proponents of baseless claims of a stolen presidential election have been invited to speak at tonight’s meeting of the Surry County Board of Commissioners.
The meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. in Dobson, would include, the Winston-Salem Journal reported, My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, one of the loudest voices of unfounded voter fraud, Douglas Frank, a math teacher from Ohio, and David Clements a professor from New Mexico State University. All three have supported the stolen election farce.
There was no immediate explanation of whether any of these speakers – there are others – would be in person or via Zoom or why commissioners found it proper to invite conspiracy theorists to a public meeting on the eve of the Primary Election, the Journal reported. The meeting at the Surry County Historic Courthouse, which is at 114 W. Atkins St. in Dobson, will be presented via Zoom, too.
This all follows a report last month by Reuters about how Michella Huff, the county’s elections director, had said William Keith Senter, president of the Surry County GOP, had threatened to have her fired or to have her pay cut if she didn’t turn over to him access to the vote tabulators, which could violate state law.
North Carolina State Board of Elections, citing witness accounts, told Reuters in written responses to questions that Senter was “aggressive, threatening, and hostile,” in two meetings with Huff.
Senter and Frank had met with Huff on March 28, claiming “there was a ‘chip’ in the voting machines that pinged a cellular phone tower on Nov. 3, 2020, and somehow influenced election results,” the state election board told Reuters. The board told Reuters the claim was “fabricated disinformation.” Former President Donald Trump received 75% of the vote in Surry County in that election.
Reuters reported that Senter allegedly had claimed he had support from the five Republicans who serve on the Surry County Board of Commissioners. The NCBOE has authority over Huff, not the board.
Senter has not commented to the Journal or Reuters about the allegations.
Patrick Gannon, a spokesperson for the NCBOE, told Reuters that the board had reported the threats to local law enforcement and would do so with “any attempts to interfere with state or federal elections or harass or intimidate election officials.”
Reuters said the incident was an example of what had become common since the 2020 election and had documented in a series of investigative reports more than 900 messages that were threatening or hostile and aimed at election officials.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported that in April Huff had said the alleged threats represented an in the county to discourage voters from using the electronic tabulators.
“That is disturbing, because we don’t want voters to listen to misinformation and lose their right to vote,” she said, noting that if someone leaves the polling place without depositing their ballot, there are no do-overs. There is no hand-county option,” she told the Journal.