Collier County removes poll worker after voter claims she was intimidated

Published: Updated:
Photo via CBS News.

A Collier County poll worker was removed after a voter claimed she was intimidated at the polls.

Ellen Hemrick posted on Facebook about her experience trying to vote at North Collier Regional Park.

According to her post, Hemrick arrived at her polling place and the poll worker present asked her why she hadn’t mailed in the ballot she requested. Hemrick explained to the poll worker that she decided to vote in person instead of by mail, with the United States Postal Service controversy at the moment.

When Hemrick showed the woman her ballot, she says she was told her ballot was wrong and that it should be much longer. Hemrick replied that she’s registered as a Democrat and the races listed are the only ones she’s voting in.

The poll worker insisted it’s a Republican primary, so Hemrick asked if she needed to go somewhere else to vote. The poll worker repeated that it’s a Republican primary, even calling over another election worker, who said that the Democrats voted back in March.

After a bit, the worker printed her a new ballot and she was allowed to vote. Hemrick asked the other poll worker if she knew that some elections were nonpartisan and everyone could vote in them to which she replied “no.”

Once back at home, Hemrick attempted to call the Supervisor of Elections Office. A man answered the phone and after trying to explain her story, she was interrupted a few times for him to tell her that she did indeed have the right to vote in nonpartisan races but also that she had not been intimidated at the polls. She didn’t feel like she was being taken seriously.

WINK News reached out to the Collier supervisor of elections about this incident on Sunday and we were told that they investigated the incident. They spoke to the poll worker and the clerk for that particular site and determined the main issue to be the election worker. They added that that election worker will not be asked to come back for future elections.

The Collier County Supervisor of Elections office added, “All voters should be able to have a pleasant voting experience and we are committed to ensuring that occurs in every election.”

Here is Hemrick’s full Facebook post:

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