Election official facing felony count
FAIRMONT — A Fairmont man is facing a felony charge in Martin County.
David Joseph Bulfer, 62, has been charged with neglect of duty as an election official, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
According to the complaint:
On Aug. 17, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office received a formal, written complaint and statement from a 58-year-old woman concerning an incident that occurred on Aug. 14 while voting at a polling location in Rolling Green Township.
The woman indicated she went to the table to check in with an election judge, who asked for the first three letters of her name. The man then proceeded to pull up her information on his computer and asked if that was her. She confirmed it was.
At that time, another election judge, Bulfer, leaned over between the woman and the other man and stated, “Oh, let’s see, what’s her height, what’s her weight, what’s her bust size?” The woman said she looked at Bulfer as he stood and proceeded to make more inappropriate comments. She then stated firmly to Bulfer, “We don’t talk that way.”
The woman indicated Bulfer then proceeded to hold both his hands up with palms out and wiggle his fingers while talking about the size of his hands and laughing.
The woman proceeded to vote and then left the building. She indicated she told her husband, who was with her at the time, that what Bulfer had done was “clearly sexual harassment” and she was going to report Bulfer.
The woman indicated she spoke with the Martin County Auditor/Treasurer and provided him with information regarding the incident. She advised that she felt humiliated, embarrassed and demeaned. She also indicated her husband stated that night he had received a phone call from Bulfer apologizing to him.
The deputy spoke with the husband, who confirmed the woman’s statements about the incident. The husband indicated they would probably vote at a different place in the future.
The deputy then spoke with the other election judge, who indicated he overheard Bulfer say something to the effect of “Let me see is your height and weight good.” He also indicated he heard a comment about bust size, but did not hear more comments or see any gesturing, as both the woman and Bulfer were behind him.
On Aug. 18, the deputy interviewed Bulfer at the Martin County Law Enforcement Center, where he was read his rights and said he understood. Bulfer indicated he is a supervisor on the Rolling Green Township Board. Bulfer also indicated he is a certified election judge, but he did miss training this past year.
During the interview, Bulfer indicated he did not remember anything about height or weight in the conversation with the woman. Bulfer denied making any comments about her bust size, but indicated he could have been joking about it with her husband who was directly behind her.
Bulfer then said, “I’m not saying I didn’t, but I just don’t recall.” Bulfer indicated he remembered something about gesturing with his hands, but he could not put it together or remember.