A Sumter County voting official has been arrested after state investigators accused her of using her position to steer voters into choosing a particular candidate in last year’s primary elections.
64-year-old Sara Benenhaley was charged with willful neglect or corrupt conduct by an election officer on Monday. State Law Enforcement Division warrants accuse her of using her position “to instruct or coerce voters to vote for a particular candidate during the June 14 primary and the runoff two weeks later.
Benenhaley could face up to three years in prison and/or a maximum $500 fine if convicted of the misdemeanor.
The warrants do not state which party’s primary or candidates Benenhaley was accused of influencing. The races would have been local, however, as South Carolina’s presidential primaries were much earlier in the year. The warrant does not go into specifics of how Benenhaley is accused of influencing voters.
South Carolina Radio Network was not able to immediately reach the Sumter County Registration and Election Commission for comment.