Kentucky: Grayson accuses Paul supporters of intimidating voters

By Felicia Sonmez
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 18, 2010; 4:14 PM

The Post has reporters in three states covering Tuesday's elections. Read today's feeds on the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary, the Arkansas Senate Democratic primary, the the Kentucky Republican Senate primary, and the Pennsylvania 12 special election. See also Monday's feeds on: the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary, the Pennsylvania 12th District special election, the Kentucky Republican Senate primary, and the Arkansas Senate Democratic primary.

Updated 4:11 p.m.

Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson is accusing ophthalmologist Rand Paul's (R) campaign of conducting a "widespread voter interrogation scheme" as voters go to the polls today in the primary for retiring Sen. Jim Bunning's (R) seat.

Grayson's campaign issued a memo to reporters this afternoon highlighting a document it claims Paul's campaign has been distributing to supporters. The Paul campaign document instructs supporters to check voting machines before polls opened at 6 a.m. and "attempt to determine that all voting machines are set to zero."

The document also directs Paul supporters to conduct exit polling as voters leave the polls from 8-9 a.m. and 12-1 p.m., make GOTV calls in afternoon, and then return to the polling places at 5:45 p.m. and "identify yourself as a representative of the Rand Paul campaign who will be witnessing the vote counting." It also instructs supporters to "immediately call the election hotline" to report any "irregularities."

According to the Grayson's team's memo, trained challengers "would be allowed into polling locations, but not for the purposes of inspecting voting machines or watching the vote counting." The memo also claims that "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."

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported this afternoon that as of 12:45 p.m., the state election fraud hotline had received 41 calls including "allegations of vote buying" and "voter intimidation," and that "many of the calls" involved Paul's campaign.

Paul campaign manager David Adams called the allegations "absurd" and said the campaign is "secure in where we are on the law."

"Anybody can file a complaint about anything," Adams said, adding that the campaign is "very confident" in the way it's been conducting its GOTV operation.

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