Trending Topics

White Georgia Woman Claims She ‘Feared for Her Life’ After Seeing Black Volunteers Handing Out Water, Playing Hip-Hop at Polls, So She Brandished a Gun In Response

A white Georgia woman who claimed Black voters caused her to “fear for her life” is now under investigation for bringing a gun into a polling place.

Sarah Webster, who is white, accused people associated with Black Voters Matter of violating election rules that prohibit campaigning within 150 feet of a polling place in southeast Georgia. The Black people at the Albany, Georgia, polling location were passing out water, playing hip-hop music and talking with voters as they waited in line for hours to cast their ballots, GPB reports.

Webster claimed the presence of Black Voters Matter activists made her afraid for her safety when she joined the line of early voters on Oct. 13, 2020, in Dougherty County. Webster then placed her pistol in her purse as she was preparing to enter the polling place. She later placed her pistol on her hip in a holster, “hoping that the group would see it and leave her alone,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“I remember the Black Panthers that stood in front of the polling place with their guns, that’s how I felt when I pulled up to vote in Albany, Georgia,” the 71-year-old Webster said before the Georgia Board of Election, according to GPB.

Webster’s decision to bring a gun into a polling place, which is against the law, saw her arrested on a disorderly conduct charge the day after she cast her vote.

“We were the ones threatened with violence,” Demetrius Young said. Young was among the group of Black volunteers passing out food and water to voters standing in line.

Webster filed a complaint with the state election board claiming she felt “intimidated when she saw people wearing Black Voters Matter” shirts.

“I spoke to Ms. Webster and explained to her what we were doing. I was simply trying to help people who were in 90-degree heat, standing in line for six hours trying to cast their vote, many of them passing out on the sidewalk,” Young said.

Young revealed that despite Webster’s alleged fear of Black activists, she took one of the waters while waiting to vote.

The state’s investigation lasted two years. Meanwhile, members of Black Voters Matter anxiously awaited the state’s final decision to determine if they indeed violated any laws.

When the state concluded its investigation on Feb. 7, it found the Black activists did not violate any laws.

Black Voters Matter
Doughtery County Georgia official tells Black Voters Matter volunteers to adhere to 150-foot rule when issuing food and drink to voters in October 2020. (Photo: Facebook/Doughtery County Georgia Government)

However, Webster’s decision to file a complaint and bring her ordeal to the attention of the election board brought her more problems. The board felt Webster’s decision illegally bring a firearm into a polling place warranted extra scrutiny. They voted to refer her to the attorney general’s office for violating state law. Carrying a firearm into a polling place in Georgia is considered a misdemeanor under state law.

Voting rights attorney, Bryan Sells, representing Black Voters Matter told GPB, “The recommendation by the investigators was that there was no violation, and that was correct.”

“My clients have been under legal jeopardy now for more than two years, and they should never have been in jeopardy, because what they did back in October 2020 was not unlawful,” Sells continued.

Georgia’s voting law (Senate Bill 202) which took effect on July 1, 2021, prohibits giving any money or gifts including food and drink to a voter within 150 feet of a polling place. The law was widely scrutinized and spawned after the 2020 election.

“We saw a woman today in there that tried to defend herself who could have easily hurt somebody, who could have easily taken someone out, who could have easily done something very atrocious and regrettable with a gun. We’re not talking about that enough,” Hannah Joy Gebresilassie said.

Back to top