Indiana man allegedly assaulted poll workers at early voting site

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An Indiana man who was turned away from an early voting site because he didn’t have valid ID assaulted two poll workers, authorities said.

Douglas Earl, 48, of Frankfort, was arrested Saturday for battery resulting in bodily injury and disorderly conduct at a voting center in Mulberry, where he was told he would be unable to vote without required ID, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

“The male then began walking around areas within the building where the voting machines were, and again, was told to leave,” department officials said. “After several attempts to get him to leave, the subject began striking two workers.”

Clinton County Clerk Rhea Harris told the Journal & Courier that one of the workers Earl allegedly hit was the polling site’s inspector. No voters or poll workers — including several who detained Earl until deputies arrived — were seriously hurt, Harris said.

But Earl’s arrest prompted Harris to ask for additional police officers to be ready Tuesday should more problems arise at the polls on Election Day, the newspaper reported.

“I don’t know his motivation exactly and what the problem was, but it was handled correctly and quickly,” Harris said. “I have to commend the workers. They responded quickly, collected themselves after police came and began helping voters, business as usual.”

But Harris acknowledged the workers were “shaken up” following the incident, adding that she contacted the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, Frankfort police and Mulberry’s town marshal to ensure “extra patrols” were at the ready Tuesday.

“I want to know what we are going to be doing about security to keep people safe,” Harris told the Journal & Courier. “This shouldn’t happen again.”

Formal charges against Earl are pending from the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office, police said. It’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney.

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