LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — Williamson County said a poll worker has been hospitalized after a medical emergency inside a polling place. Remarks during this week’s Commissioner’s Court meeting implied the episode was possibly linked to a confrontation with a poll watcher.
In a statement, Williamson County said the medical emergency happened around 5:45 p.m. at the Leander Public Library. Poll workers intervened quickly and began life-saving measures, which first responders continued once on the scene.
“The poll worker was saved by their efforts as well as by the efforts of first responders. The individual is in the hospital receiving medical care, and no further information will be released out of respect for privacy,” the county said.
A video posted to social media of Tuesday’s Commissioner’s Court meeting shared Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell’s remarks on this matter.
“Based upon the reports that I received as County Judge, this was precipitated because of a potential confrontation over poll watchers there creating stress in the polling place,” Gravell could be heard saying on the video.
The remarks took place before the Pledge of Allegiance and opening prayer. Commissioners and those in attendance at the meeting specifically prayed for a swift recovery for the poll worker.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, a man who identified himself as Robert Bagwell stepped up to the podium to comment on Gravell’s remarks.
Bagwell said he was a poll watcher at the library when the medical emergency happened. He said the interaction with the poll worker was conducted professionally and calmly and that he was not responsible for the worker’s condition.
“To say that it was potentially me as a cause for this person’s cardiac arrhythmia, it literally, it would be as much your fault as mine,” Bagwell said.
Bagwell said just before the emergency, he was discussing anonymity concerns with an election judge at the polling location.
The concern was about specialized ballots the county is now tallying after a clerical error led to 18 votes on a sales and use tax election going uncounted.
In the social media video of Tuesday’s meeting, Gravell said the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, the county attorney, and the Leander Police Department would all be looking into this event.
As of Wednesday afternoon, a spokesperson with the City of Leander said the Leander Police Department is not currently investigating this incident.