Pike County’s Republican Party chairman was arrested Wednesday on charges stemming from his attempts to challenge a political candidate’s vote during the Aug. 6 Democratic primary.
Bobby McDaniel surrendered on charges of disturbing the peace around 6 p.m. and posted $1,000 bond. He was released soon thereafter.
The case stems from McDaniel’s attempt to challenge the candidacy and voter registration of Renada Taylor Cain, who unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination for Pike County Tax Assessor.
During the Aug. 6 primary, McDaniel, acting as a Republican Party pollwatcher, allegedly attempted to block Cain from accessing a voting machine as she went to cast her ballot at the Progress Fire Station voting precinct. Cain ended up casting a paper ballot, which was marked “challenged,” election officials said.
McDaniel had previously provided photographs showing Cain’s car frequently parked at a house at 1695 New Sight Road in Lincoln County and that her running for office and casting a ballot in Pike County amounted to voter fraud.
Cain said last month that she worked in Brookhaven but her residence was 1148 Pike 93 Central.
Pike County land records show that property is owned by Warren Banks. The New Sight Road address is owned by Cain’s husband, Dr. Rico Cain, Lincoln County land records show.
The Pike County Election Commission asked the sheriff’s department to investigate the matter and the sheriff’s department did so with the assistance of the attorney general’s office, Sheriff Kenny Cotton said.
Cain lost the primary to Angela Simmons, who received 2,752 votes (60%) to Cain’s 1,839. Simmons advances to the November general election against Republican incumbent Laurie Allen.
Cotton, who is running for re-election as a Democrat, said Thursday that there are proper ways to challenge an election, and McDaniel did not follow those guidelines.
“The polls are safe and we’re going to do everything we can to protect that safety,” he said.