Elections Chairman Resigns After Being Accused of Vandalizing Trump Campaign Signs

October 19, 2020 Updated: October 19, 2020

A South Carolina elections official has resigned after he was accused of defacing signs supporting President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.

Dean Smith, a Georgetown County Board of Voter Registration and Elections chairman, offered his resignation on Oct. 14 after police received a complaint from Republican Party officials that he and his wife, Rita Smith, had vandalized a Trump-Pence yard sign.

According to GAB News, the incident was caught on a deer camera that was set up in the yard, and he resigned within the first few minutes of the Georgetown County Board of Voter Registration and Elections meeting.

“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,” Smith said. “I therefore hereby resign from this board effective immediately.”

A resident of South Carolina’s Pawleys Island said he had noticed that some of his Trump campaign signs kept going missing from his yard. The deer camera showed an individual taking one sign and vandalizing another by writing the word “dump” over the name Trump.

Epoch Times Photo
A Trump-Pence campaign placard, Oct. 3, 2020. (Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images)

After complaining to local GOP officials, he received a tip that the former chairman and his wife were behind the defacing incident.

Smith’s wife said that the sign supporting Trump’s reelection campaign had appeared on common property after she and a nearby resident were involved in a disagreement over a flag supporting the president that the person had refused to take down.

“Our emotions got the better of us,” she said of the matter, stating that she and her husband had removed the campaign signs “because we were angry with the other resident.”

“This is actually an HOA [homeowner’s association] issue,” Dean Smith said in a statement. “We have regulations against the signs. The people that reported this put a sign on someone else’s property without their knowledge, and they insulted and attacked my wife who is the HOA president and asked them to get rid of the signs. The camera that took our picture was also put on someone else’s property.

“It had been an honor and privilege to work with all of you. I’m very proud of the 15 years I’ve been involved in Georgetown County elections, and I’m sorry it has to end like this.”