‘Trump Truck Train’ at Salisbury Board of Elections office draws mixed reactions

Parade drove near early voting site as some waited to vote
The parade included cars and trucks flying flags and honking horns in the parking lot outside...
The parade included cars and trucks flying flags and honking horns in the parking lot outside of the Board of Elections.(Ken Stutts)
Updated: Nov. 2, 2020 at 12:45 PM EST
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A parade of vehicles flying flags and blowing horns in support of President Trump in downtown Salisbury on Saturday finished off with a visit to the Board of Elections office where some were waiting to cast ballots.

Depending on who you talk to, the parade of vehicles was either voter intimidation that could have kept voters from getting to the polls, or just a group of people having fun and showing support for President Trump and other Republican candidates.

Geoffrey Hoy, the chairman of the Rowan County Democratic Party, was there with a voter when the parade came through.

“As they were driving by there were people coming from the parking lot wanting to get in line to go through the line to get in the doors to go through the polling place. Some of those people felt concerned with trucks driving by, so they were kind of stuck one on side when they wanted to get to the other side of that drive thru to go in to vote," Hoy said.

The parade was happening in the fire lane next to the entrance for early voting, and was in conflict with regulations about campaigning.

“The director of the Board of Elections and another staff person with the Board of Elections came out and just stood there to make certain that the direct campaigning within the fifty foot radius discontinued, which it did," Hoy added.

Ken Andrews was taking part in the parade, driving a shiny red Ford pick up covered with Trump signs and signs for other candidates. He says the parade never blocked access for voters.

“We went out to the Board of Elections and let them know we were there and that’s about all there was to it, I enjoyed it," said Andrews. “I didn’t think there was a problem with it. I know that we weren’t keeping anybody from getting to, there were people in line, and it was almost three o’clock when the polls closed. No one was kept from getting to the polls and nobody tried to intimidate anybody and make them think anything was going to happen if they tried to vote or anything like that.”

Rowan County Board of Elections Director Brenda McCubbins said that she didn’t think the parade prevented anyone from getting to the polling place, but did have to take action to move the parade away from the entrance.

“The Trump Truck parade did not in any way prevent voters from getting to the polls,” McCubbins said. “There were actually not a lot of voters in line at 3:00. The parade was here 10 to 15 minutes before the polls closed. They were within the 50 feet buffer zone where no campaigning is allowed, which is the only reason we were rerouting them.”

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