I’m at the Election Integrity Watch headquarters in Roseville.
Events so far:
- Plenty of calls about broken scanners: There seems to be an epidemic of election judges claiming the machines are broken, and honest, they’ll store the ballots under the machines ’til later; five counties so far. This is ludicrous; these machines were supposed to have been tested last night! If you run into this, make sure that your precinct has a partisan poll-watcher (a GOP as well as a DFL one) to watch the ballots. There needs to be one from each party! If you run into a “broken machine” and there are not poll watchers from your party present to safeguard the chain of custody for your ballot, you need to call the Election Integrity Watch hotline: 877-602-9282.
- Apparel: While the regional leftybloggers have been caterwauling about a federal judge denying a restraining order against denying people with Election Watch buttons and t-shirts from entering the polls, a federal judge in Arizona has apparently granted a nearly identical restraining order. We have a few reports of people being told to remove or cover up Tea Party or Republican t-shirts; rumor has it there are a few “comparitive tests” going on with people walking in with SEIU/ACORN/Obamaware on, right before people with Tea Party duds. We’ll see what happens. One respondent says he walked into a polling station in Maplewood. No rules were posted. Two election judges said nothing; a third walked up to him as he was voting and asked him to cover up; “all it takes is one take and we get in trouble”.
- Sock Puppet: An “Attorney” named Dann Dobson, portraying himself as a Republican activist, talked his way into the Minnesota Majority office. Now, if you follow Saint Paul ultra-left politics, you know Dann Dobson is no Republican. The word got around; Dobson was turned away after his rather curious little attempt to infiltrate the call center.
- Pre-marked ballot: We have a report from a voter in the north suburbs saying he got a ballot with Lori Swanson and Tarryl Clark pre-marked for him. The voter is coming in to swear out an affadavit. More as the situation warrants. UPDATE: This is being forwarded to the Anoka County Sheriff and the Anoka County Attorney. UPDATE 2: The election judge is claiming that the pre-marked ballot was really a spoiled ballot that was “inadvertently” put back into the pile. The attorney in the room says “look for a bunch more “spoiled ballots””. UPDATE 3: It’s 1PM, and the complainant is here, filling out his affadavit.
- Intimidation?: A group of students at Saint Olaf is standing directly outside the polling station pressing people for their voting choices, basically acting like and/or pretending to be exit pollsters. We’re speculating it’s just a bunch of students on a project, rather than engaged in any foul play – but action is being taken to get them moved.
- Coercion: We are getting multiple reports of buses full of senior citizens being driven to the polls, and being urged or coerced to vote DFL. More as details emerge. UPDATE: It’s one report from Golden Valley, so far. IT was a bus full of voters from a nursing home. The investigation is underway.
- Insecure Storage: We have two allegations, now, of ballots being stored insecurely; the official “overflow” storage is part of the optical scanner, and it holds about thirty ballots. As the number of ballots backing up due to the broken-down scanners (see above) increases, ballots are being stored in any old kind of cardboard box that is available. “This is very serious”, says Jeff Davis of the Minnesota Majority.
I”ll be updating this while I”m in the call center. If you see any election irregularities – any of them – call 877-602-9282.