Election Board directors checked out alleged voter fraud on primary day
5:59 PM, Aug 25, 2010
6:38 PM, Aug 25, 2010
KANSAS CITY, Missouri - The Kansas City Election Board is investigating allegations of voter fraud.
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Election board members have been questioning poll workers and gathering facts before facing a judge in court on Monday.
The top two election officials in Kansas City went to a polling place on primary day, August 3, check out specific allegations of voter fraud.
The Republican director, Shawn Kieffer, says they reinforced the rules with poll workers.
But once ballots are in the box, Kieffer says there's no way to know which ballots belong to people who may have cast their votes under questionable circumstances.
Missouri House candidate Will Royster lost the Democratic primary by three votes to John Rizzo.
But he says the lawsuit he filed Tuesday is backed up by sworn affidavits from election workers who allegedly witnessed voter fraud.
"They have no reason to have a bias for me or for my opponent. They truly are people who have just come forward, believing this is the right thing to do, that they witnessed wrong-doing," said Royster.
Royster's lawsuit lays out specific acts. . It says an employee of the Somali Foundation told election judges he was an intepreter.
The man allegedly took in groups of voters, and helped them cast ballots for Rizzo.
It says when confronted by an election judge, the man said the voters were blind and could not speak.
"I think that those questions need to be addressed. If something along those lines happened in this election, we need to find out about it," said Royster.
The Somali Foundation executive director would not talk on camera by says his nonprofit does not tell people how to vote.
He says it only encourages Somali immigrants to get their citizenship and to go to the polls.
The lawsuit does not blame Rizzo directly for any wrongdoing.
"We believe that there may have been overzealous supporters," said Royster.
The lawsuit does raise questions about the election board's response that day, and the actions of election workers.
"I'd hesitate to call any of this, anything that actually happened, irregularities, until we work through the process and see where everything is," said Charles Renner, the Democratic Kansas City Election Board attorney.
Royster is asking for both a new election and a recount, but he'd rather have the new election.
The decision on recount or new election will be made by a Jackson County judge.
The first hearing for this lawsuit is Monday morning.