S.C. Elections Chairman Resigns After Getting Caught Stealing and Vandalizing a Resident's Trump Signs

Brittany M. Hughes | October 16, 2020
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A South Carolina elections chairman and his wife have resigned their positions as election officials after they were caught stealing and vandalizing Trump signs in a resident's yard.

According to Bizpac Review, it all started when a Pawleys Island resident contacted his local Republican Party last Tuesday saying his Trump/Pence 2020 signs were being stolen out of his yard. GOP officials then reported the issue to the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Department. The man told them he’d caught the vandals on a security camera on Oct. 4 stealing some of the signs and defacing another by writing “Dump” above Trump’s name.

After the footage was posted online, several residents came forward and identified the thieves as Dean Smith, a 15-year member of the elections board, and his wife, Rita. Smith resigned his post, and his wife resigned hers as poll manager and training coordinator for the elections commission. Mr. Smith called the incident a “lapse in judgment.” 

“We regret this lapse of judgment on our part. I do not want to be a distraction to the conduct of this very important election,” said Dean Smith.

The Smiths now say they took and defaced the signs because of a dispute with the resident over whether he was allowed to fly Trump flags and put up campaign signs in his yard. The displays allegedly break rules set by the Pawleys Landing homeowners association, of which Rita Smith is a member. She says she took the signs after a heated argument with the landowner after she told him he couldn’t display them in his front yard.

“Our emotions got the better of us,” Rita Smith said.

“It was because we were angry with the other resident,” Dean Smith added. “This really is a neighborhood issue, but I have to be squeaky clean.”



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