New rules should rein in aggressive poll watchers - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

New rules should rein in aggressive poll watchers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Hundreds of partisan observers will watch polling places in Wisconsin but new rules should prevent them from causing many disruptions.

Both political parties and outside groups say they will send lawyers and volunteers to polling places, particularly those in Madison and Milwaukee where the most problems could arise.

They will make sure poll workers are following election laws, running the polls smoothly and allowing legal voters to cast ballots.

The observers caused some problems during the 2004 presidential election, in some cases harassing voters and bullying the election workers who are supposed to be in charge.

The Government Accountability Board approved new rules in August designed to minimize similar problems this year.

Among other things, observers must wear nametags and allow a six-feet buffer between themselves and workers checking in voters. They are also barred from interacting with voters.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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