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Hennepin election officials cool poll-watchers' jets

Freedom Is Slavery, Ignorance Is Strength

Freedom Is Slavery, Ignorance Is Strength

After news that the organizers that voter intimidation monitoring group Election Integrity Watch is telling its volunteers to flout a judicial ban on wearing their bigbrothertastic buttons to the polls, it probably comes as no surprise that the group's poll challengers haven't been on their best behavior in the polling places.

Rachel Smith, the Hennepin County elections manager, confirmed this morning that vote challengers in several polling locations were overstepping themselves.

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"Early in the morning we had some poll challengers who were thinking they could just wander anywhere in the polling place," Smith said. The challengers also seemed to be confused about what constitutes a legitimate reason to challenge a voter's eligibility.

But after some "very firm exchanges" with polling officials, the challengers retreated to their designated zones and have been adhering to regulations ever since.

"We just wanted to make sure that their role in the polling places were clearly defined," Smith told City Pages. "Once we sorted that out, everything has been very peaceful."