Belhaven mayor files elections complaint

Published 7:30 pm Thursday, October 29, 2015

On Thursday, Belhaven Mayor Adam O’Neal filed a complaint with the Beaufort County Board of Elections regarding three poll workers for the upcoming municipal election on Nov. 3.

In the complaint, O’Neal singled out Diane Lambeth, Karen Fisher and Jimmie Southerland as being biased parties, unfit to act as poll workers.

The complaint alleged that those three people have been seen campaigning door to door for the candidates running against O’Neal and some council candidates. It also alleges that Southerland has given negative information about O’Neal and the town’s administration to “at least one newspaper.” The complaint asks the board to remove them as poll workers due to their “public shows of support” for O’Neal’s opposition.

“Candidates for office in Beaufort County should be given fair and open elections by fair poll workers. This is a nonpartisan election and unbiased poll workers are most important due to poll watchers not being allowed,” the document stated.

Kellie Hopkins, director at the Beaufort County Board of Elections, said she could not comment on the complaint at this point.

She said it has been sent to the board, which will determine whether the complaint is valid.

“We don’t know what the outcome of it is going to be,” Hopkins said.

The board will meet Friday night at 6 p.m. at the Board of Elections office to discuss the complaint, she said.

Fisher said she was recently trained and sworn in to perform her duty, and she understands that her job is to ensure unbiased voting procedures with ballots being cast privately.

“And as of now, I have not seen a complaint,” she said.

Lambeth and Southerland could not be reached for comment.


The Beaufort County Board of Elections office is located at 1308 Highland Drive, Washington.