Bamberg County Election Commission Rejects Black Female Veteran Poll Workers for Support of Mayoral Candidate

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Denmark, SC– Black female election workers file complaints to the SC Ethics Commission for being rejected from participating in the upcoming Denmark elections for their relationship with mayoral candidate, Deanna Miller Berry.

Last week, 20-year veteran polling manager Detra Salley Bruce was rejected from working the Denmark city election. Bruce said, “They told me that I was rejected because of my relationship with Deanna Berry. It made me feel very disrespected, like they were trying to punish me. I’m an adult, US Citizen, and disabled military veteran, and I have rights.”

Detra Salley Bruce is not alone. Last Saturday, Denmark residents participated in a Facebook live event hosted by Deanna Miller Berry. Afterward, several participants of that live event reported that their employment as poll workers, too, had been rejected Monday morning. Residents have been speaking out on social media about the current administration and their voter suppression antics.

Amber Ford posted to Facebook “After this weekend, they know they’re going to lose this election. They are trying to scare us into not voting for Deanna, but we’ve had enough of the intimidation. #DenmarkforDeanna #NewDenmark.”

Monday evening, a group of single Black mothers began calling Berry, informing her that they received calls from the incumbent’s administration bullying them out of supporting Berry and threatening to fire them if they continued.

Voter registration board member Curtis Tyler and Director of the Bamberg County Board of Elections Melinda Johnson stated that the individuals they rejected had close relationships with Berry, thus disqualifying them from employment. Tyler is a current employee of incumbent Mayor Gerald Wright’s funeral home. The residents say it isn’t fair that the mayor’s friends and family have the opportunity to work the election while they remove veteran poll workers and replace all of the election staff with his supporters.

“It’s time for a change,” Salley says. “People can’t go around bullying people and think they can get away with it.”

Mayoral candidate Deanna Miller Berry says, “It isn’t fair that our residents have to face this level of intimidation and suppression. It is wrong to punish someone for wanting better for their community.”

Berry also stated that she submitted a list of Mayor Wright’s supporters who are currently working the election and violate the policy outlined by Tyler and Johnson. Tyler and Johnson rejected this list.

Watch press conference held by Deanna Berry Wednesday in Denmark, South Carolina.

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