HAMILTON COUNTY — The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is investigating reports of voter interference at an early voting location in Carmel.
“We take criminal allegations very seriously and I want to assure the public that this complaint will be reviewed with the utmost diligence in conjunction with the Hamilton County Elections Board," Hamilton County Sheriff Dennis Quakenbush said in an emailed news release.
Deputy Brian Melton, a spokesman for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, said the investigation stems from an incident at an early voting location in Carmel.
Mario Massilaminy, the Hamilton County Republican Party chair, said he called police concerning a Democratic poll worker at the Mercy Road Church early voting site in Carmel.
Massilaminy told WRTV the man was told to leave the polling site after other workers reported that he told Black voters not to vote for Republican-endorsed school board candidates and that he may have pushed the button for a straight-party Democrat ballot while he was helping a voter.
"If we don't take this seriously, it's basically telling Hoosiers that we don't care," Massilaminy said. "I just want the rules to be followed."
The Hamilton County Democratic Party denied the allegations and accused the Republicans of "last-minute dirty tricks."
"It appears as though school board activists, supporting GOP-endorsed candidates, were too close to voting machines at a vote center in the county," Hamilton County Democratic Party Chair Dayna Colbert said in an emailed statement. "After a poll worker brought it to the attention of election administrators, he was removed from working the site."
The fired poll worker also denied the GOP's allegations in a written statement provided to WRTV by the Democrats. WRTV is not naming the man because he has not been charged with a crime.
Massilaminy said anyone who sees something suspicious at a polling place should report it immediately. The Hamilton County Election Office can be contacted at 317-776-7486.
Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @vicryc.