- A replica of hangman’s noose which was on display in a Missouri polling station has been covered up following complaints of voter intimidation of Black voters.
- The noose was on display in a glass cabinet between in the hallway of the Stone County Courthouse building in Galena,AP reported.
- The Missouri Democratic Party’s released a statement that said: “For a noose to be displayed next to voting booths is clear intimidation targeting Black voters.”
- Stone County Clerk Cindy Elmore told The Kansas City Star that the historical exhibit explained the last legal execution by hanging in Missouri which occurred in Stone County in 1937.
- The noose has now been covered with brown paper and it will remain concealed throughout Election Day.
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A replica of a hangman’s noose on display in a Missouri polling station has been covered following complaints of voter intimidation towards Black voters.
The noose was on display in a glass cabinet between in the hallway of the Stone County Courthouse building in Galena,AP reported.
Stone County Clerk Cindy Elmore told The Kansas City Star that the display is a historical exhibit marked the last legal execution by hanging in Missouri, outside the Stone County Courthouse in 1937. It was several years old.
The Missouri Democratic Party’s released a statement yesterday in which Acting Chair, Clem Smith, said: “This symbol’s purpose is to stoke the fires of racial prejudice and strike fear in the hearts of people of colour. It is a painful reminder of the murders and lynching of Black Americans.
“To see one next to a voting booth is offensive, inappropriate, and outrageous. It should be obvious to anybody that a noose does not belong at anybody’s election booth. It must be taken down immediately.”
Yinka Faleti, the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, said in a statement: “This is a brazen attempt at voter intimidation, plain and simple.
“This is yet another painful reminder that in 2020, we still have not come far enough and we have more miles to go.”
During an interview at the courthouse on Saturday, Mark Maples, Stone County’s Presiding Commissioner, said: “It never once entered our mind as an intimidation issue, we just don’t think that way,” according to the Springfield News Leader.
However, he understands it offended many and that the noose is now covered with brown paper until after Election Day.
Maples said he would discuss the issue with the other two county commissioners but mentioned: “I think it’s part of the history here in Stone County. It was a lawful, public hanging â€” of a white man â€” and it was one of the last ones in Missouri. Are we proud of it? No. But it’s part of our history.”
According to the United States Census Bureau, the residents of Stone County, Missouri, are 96.5% white, with Black people accounting for 0.4% of the county’s population as of July 2019.