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Experts Warn of Voter Abuse

With less than five days until the election, federal officials are planning to pay close attention to voter rights abuse.Election experts tell ABC 17 News that with so many close races, both sides of the aisle will be aggressive in monitoring votes and maybe even crossing the line.Most of the voter rights problems occurring in Missouri are usually minor, like lines being too long at polling locations. Still, political experts are expecting problems like intimidation and misinformation due to the neck-and-neck races.Officials say they are expecting to see extremely aggressive electioneering all the way up until the polls close Tuesday evening. They say some of the races are so close, we may not know the results until the following day.”My sense is some of that may rise to the level of abuse,” said University of Missouri election law and voters’ rights professor Richard Reuben. “My sense is some of that may be accused of being abuse, but perhaps it doesn’t go that far.”Reuben believe intimidation is the biggest problem at the polls, but nobody could give an example of this happening in the state. However, it has happened as recent as the 2008 general election when members of the New Black Panther Party were accused of discouraging people to vote.Election experts do not expect that to happen in Missouri, but they say there is the potential for it to happen. They believe most of the problems that could occur in the state would be more systematic problems like long lines, voting in the wrong place, and not enough ballots at a polling location.Election law officials say in some cases it gets worse because most people do not completely understand all of the rights of voters.”There are times when election officials themselves don’t know the rules and that can result in the disenfranchisement of a voter,” said Reuben.Reuben says if a voter has a question or concern, then they can talk with the election official and they should be able to clarify your rights to you.

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