Background: During the fall 2016 election period there was a Donald Trump baseball bat, a collector’s item, on display in the Lee County GOP Headquarters. It was privately owned and left there to attract a buyer.
The Allegation: Someone working on Sherry-Lynn Womack’s school board campaign in Lee County was alleged to be intimidating voters with a Donald Trump baseball bat. It is further alleged that Jim Womack was somehow involved.
The Truth: In late October 2016, during early voting, Lee County republicans were handing out their (now famous) Conservative and Veteran’s ballot at the early voting sites. It was a highly popular sample ballot identifying all veterans who were running for office. This ballot also identified all judges and justices who were Republicans and suggested everyone should vote all Republican. Lee County democrats were dismayed this ballot was being legally distributed and that many minority voters were taking this sample ballot to see who the veterans were (almost all of whom were Republican candidates).
One member of the local NAACP, a democrat operative, posted on Facebook that democrats must stop the distribution of this ballot by bringing bats to the polls if necessary. In an attempt to mock the Facebook post, several local Republicans posed the next day with baseball gear in and around the GOP headquarters. Sherry-Lynn Womack posed for a picture with the Trump bat inside the GOP headquarters. Later in the day, another Lee GOP volunteer ill-advisedly removed the Trump bat from the headquarters and took it down the block to a parking lot across from a polling site. Sherry-Lynn Womack noticed him there with the bat in hand while she was electioneering. She left the polling site, met him in the parking lot and removed the bat from his possession. She returned the bat to the Lee GOP headquarters. At no time were there voters in the vicinity of the person with the bat and at no time was the bat raised in a menacing manner.
Jim Womack, then a party official in the Lee GOP, was electioneering at another early voting site. He was completely unaware of the Trump bat being used for any purpose. He did not know about any pictures being taken, and he was unaware the bat ever left the GOP headquarters until days later, when the local election board received a complaint of voter intimidation. All was reported to the NCGOP and resolved by the NCGOP General Counsel.
Conclusion: The Trump bat story is incredibly ironic. Democrats were seeking to interfere with Republican electioneering in Lee County, yet Republicans were accused of voter intimidation. Allegations of voter intimidation with a Trump bat were a complete fabrication, with no basis in truth.