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Surry GOP leader pressured elections director for access to voting machines, report says

Trump supporters
J. Scott Applewhite
Supporters of President Donald Trump carry flags and signs as they parade past the Capitol in Washington after news that President-elect Joe Biden had defeated the incumbent in the race for the White House, in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020.

A Surry County Republican pressured local elections officials to give him access to voting equipment, according to a report by Reuters.

The news agency reports that the GOP official, William Keith Senter, was looking for evidence to support debunked theories that the 2020 election was rigged against former President Donald Trump.

The state Board of Elections told Reuters that Senter — the chair of the Surry Republican Party — told the county elections director that she could lose her job if she refused the request. Witnesses told the board that Senter was aggressive, threatening, and hostile during two interactions with the director.

Senter did not get access to the equipment. Anyone who threatens or intimidates an election officer could face felony charges under North Carolina law.

Senter did not respond to a request for comment.

It’s not clear what action county officials could take against the local director. Those positions are controlled by the state board.

Threats against local elections officials have been widespread since the 2020 election. Reuters has documented more than 900 threatening or hostile messages nationwide targeting election officials.

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