Poll Worker Allegedly Chokes Voter

GENERIC: Choking, Choke, Election, Violence, Fighting, Voting, Vote
CBS
A poll worker was arrested Tuesday and charged with assault and interfering with an election for allegedly choking a voter and pushing him out the door, officials said.

It apparently started as a dispute between the two over marking the ballot, said Lt. Col. Carl Yates of the Jefferson County sheriff's office.

The voter told poll worker Jeffery Steitz that he didn't want to vote in a judicial election because he didn't know enough about the candidates, but Steitz told him he had to vote in the race anyway, Yates said.

Steitz, 42, eventually grabbed the man by the neck and threw him out of the polling place, Yates said.

"The poor guy went back in and he threw him out again," Yates said. "At least it wasn't over a Democrat or a Republican being on the ballot."

Election officials called police.

"That about tops off the day," said Paula McCraney, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County clerk's office.

There was no immediate response to a call seeking comment from Steitz at his home.

In Pennsylvania, a would-be voter was arrested at a polling place in Allentown, where election workers said he smashed an electronic voting machine with a paperweight.

Authorities didn't know what caused the outburst. "He came in here very peaceably and showed his ID, then he got on the machine and just snapped," volunteer Gladys Pezoldt told The Morning Call of Allentown.

The machine's screen was damaged and it was not immediately clear if votes recorded on the machine could be retrieved. Police said the man faced charges of felony criminal mischief and tampering with voting machines.