Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Grayson Camp Accuses Paul of Voter Intimidation

The Grayson campaign alleges that the Paul campaign is intimidating voters and violating election laws. Here's the release from the Grayson campaign; note that the link to the Paul document referenced is not working:

Rand Paul distributed a document to his supporters instructing them to engage in illegal activity at polling places today that has resulted in widespread voter intimidation and election law violations.

As reported by the Herald-Leader today, there have been complaints in multiple counties about Paul campaign operatives intimidating voters while allegedly conducting “exit polling,” including reports of voters being harassed for not casting votes for Paul as well as illegally entering polling locations. In some cases law enforcement officials have reportedly been called to remove the disruptive Paul operatives.

Specifically, the document distributed by the Paul campaign illegally instructs supporters to arrive at polling locations this morning to “check each machine” and to return in the afternoon before voting concludes to “verify the correct machines are being used” and to witness “the vote counting,” in violation of KRS 117.235 which prohibits such activity.

Challengers qualified and trained as provided for by KRS 117.315 would be allowed into polling locations, but not for the purposes of inspecting voting machines or watching “the vote counting.” The duties of qualified challengers are outlined here. Challengers are prohibited from disrupting activities at polling places or verbally harassing voters. It appears that most incidents involving the Paul campaign do not involve qualified challengers, but instead they’re supporters who have received the illegal instructions from Rand Paul.

Campaigns are allowed under KRS 117.165 to have a representative present to inspect voting machines at the time they are inspected by county boards of election.

KRS 119.275 makes it illegal to advise or assist persons in violating election laws.

Grayson Campaign Manager Nate Hodson said, “This despicable behavior should not be tolerated. Bullying and intimidation should have no place in our elections. Rand Paul needs to rein in his goon squad and follow the law.”

Hodson continued, “This is part of a pattern of illegal activity by the Paul campaign. They have repeatedly evaded tax laws, violated campaign finance laws and are now knowingly instructing supporters to violate election law. Kentucky deserves better, and Rand Paul should know better.”

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