Local News

Casket with anti-Obama sticker raises ire in N.C.

Posted November 1, 2008 6:19 p.m. EDT
Updated November 2, 2008 10:58 p.m. EST

— North Carolina officials are decrying the appearance of a casket with an anti-Barack Obama sticker at a Cravens County polling place.

State Democrats said Saturday the coffin and sticker are an attempt to intimidate people voting early. Republican Party spokesman Brent Woodcox told The (Raleigh) News & Observer that citizens should be outraged.

The NAACP says the casket was in place for at least several hours. A bumper sticker on it showed an image of Obama and the phrase "O' No!"

Craven County Director of Elections Tonya Pitts said the casket was placed at the site by former County Commissioner Bill Harper. It was originally for “Joe the Plumber” and had a sign that read “taxed to death.” Later in the week, Pitts said the anti-Obama stickers were placed on the casket.

The casket was considered an act of free speech since it was further than 50 feet from the polls, Pitts said. The casket was removed by the sheriff’s department on Friday.

An NAACP official told WRAL News Sunday evening that the organization is filing a formal complaint over the casket with the Board of Elections, the Department of Justice and the state Attorney General.

Meanwhile, federal officials say Justice Department personnel will monitor voting Tuesday in several counties in North Carolina and South Carolina as part of a nationwide effort to protect voting rights and prevent fraud.

Observers will be in Alamance County, N.C.; and in Dorchester and Georgetown counties in South Carolina.

(This story contains information from WCBI)